The NBA trade rumors are swirling and the Los Angeles Lakers rumors have gotten a bit out of hand. The biggest name involved in the NBA rumor mill all season has been Ben Simmons, who will eventually be traded from the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, according to a new report, the Lakers are in the mix as well.
Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote that the Lakers and New York Knicks are teams that are reportedly interested in Ben Simmons, along with the likes of Portland, Sacramento, Indiana and Cleveland.
The Lakers can be “interested” all they want but these Lakers rumors are never going to get off the ground. While Simmons certainly could be traded in the coming days or weeks, the chances of him wearing the purple and gold this season are zero.
Why the Ben Simmons Lakers rumors are completely unfathomable:
When exploring a potential trade we have to ask ourselves what each team is getting in return. The Los Angeles Lakers would be getting an elite defensive player who cannot shoot, but can do a lot of other things. It might not be a great fit, but Simmons is still a great two-way player.
Then we have to think about what the Philadelphia 76ers would get. The Lakers do not have the contracts to pile together and match Simmons’ contract in order to make a deal happen. A three-way trade is not even possible because the Lakers only have minimum contracts or Talen Horton-Tucker. They simply do not have enough.
Thus, the Lakers would have to trade one of Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis or LeBron James in order to make this happen. The team obviously is not going to trade AD or LeBron and the 76ers are not going to take Westbrook if the world was ending tomorrow.
The Westbrook trade has been a disaster for the Lakers and he would not be any good on the 76ers. He has the exact same floor spacing issues that Ben Simmons has while playing horrible defense as opposed to elite defense and is so ball-dominant that he makes his teammates worse at times.
That would be an absolutely awful trade and it does not matter what the Simmons situation is, the 76ers are not going to take on Westbrook to pay him $44 million this season and $47 million next season. It simply is not going to happen.
So why are the Los Angeles Lakers even mentioned in this? This is the classic game of cat and mouse that we always see in these situations. Someone, probably from Ben Simmons’ camp (remember, he is a Klutch client) wants to make the market seem deeper than it really is. That person leaks to the media that the Lakers are interested, hoping that draws up more interest from other teams to get Simmons out of Philly before the Lakers do.
The Lakers should be interested in flipping Westbrook for Simmons but Rob Pelinka knows that isn’t realistic. They should be interested in Damian Lillard too but that is not going to happen. This didn’t come from the Lakers’ side as they know the reality of the situation. This had to have come from someone in Klutch who is stirring up the market.
Of course, this is all just speculation but one thing is for certain: The Los Angeles Lakers are definitely not trading for Ben Simmons this season.