Add the Lakers and Knicks to the teams exploring a trade for available 76ers guard/forward Ben Simmons.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, along with the Knicks and Lakers, the Trail Blazers, Pacers, Timberwolves, Kings and Cavaliers are also interested in pursuing a Simmons trade. We wrote extensively about the Cavs’ interest here and the Blazers’ interest here.
But this is the first report of the Lakers and Knicks showing an interest in Simmons. Neither is necessarily a surprise, given that both LA and New York have failed to live up to expectations in the season’s first two months.
The 76ers have ramped up trade talks involving Simmons ahead of Wednesday, ESPN reported, as Wednesday (Dec. 15) is when players who signed offseason contracts are eligible to be dealt. Simmons has sat out since the start of training camp while he and the 76ers seek a trade.
According to Adrian Wojarowski of ESPN, the 76ers are aiming to land a “top 25-level” player as part of a return for Simmons.
Rich Paul, the agent for Simmons, also represents Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, we well as Cavs point guard Darius Garland. League sources have told Hoops Wire they believe that Paul can help steer a trade that lands Simmons with one of Paul’s other clients.
Sources have also said they believe a Simmons deal is likely to involve more than just the 76ers and one other team.
As an interesting aside, the Pacers have made center Myles Turner, All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis and shooting guard Caris LeVert available in trade talks. Also, the 76ers and Blazers have already discussed a deal centered on Simmons and Portland guard CJ McCollum, per Wojnarowski.