Lakers Considering Signing Ben Simmons
Can Los Angeles handle yet another star?
The Lakers are reportedly considering making a move to bring the Philadelphia 76ers‘ Ben Simmons to LA. Simmons is a three-time All-Star point guard and he was the NBA’s defensive player of the year runner-up last season. While he is a great defensive player, there’s some left to be desired in his shooting abilities.
Simmons is in the second year of a five-year $177.2 million contract with the 76ers. He is currently sitting out in hopes of forcing a trade. He has made it clear that he wants out of Philadelphia. The 76ers are currently sitting at 15-12.
It would take a lot for the Lakers to be able to bring Simmons to California.
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“The framework of any direct Lakers transaction would most likely involve sending out the $44.2 million contract of new point guard Russell Westbrook,” Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors said. “Long Beach native who played at UCLA in college, Westbrook’s frustrating late-game decision-making, poor defense and broken jumper have at times limited his efficacy in L.A. The switchable Simmons could at least help with the defensive component of that issue, and would presumably be more comfortable taking an off-ball role next to All-Star Lakers forward LeBron James.”
The Lakers aren’t the only team who is interested in Simmons. It has been reported that teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers are also interested. This gives Darryl Morey, the president of the 76ers, more leverage if he were able to make a deal with the Lakers. With interest from other teams, the Lakers may now have to deal a draft pick in addition to Westbrook to get Simmons. With a price like that, a third team may have to get involved to realistically make the trade benefit all parties.
The Lakers don’t have much to lose. After starting their season 15-13 despite high expectations, they may be willing to make some sacrifices if Simmons can be the spark they’re looking for to get back on track.
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