The Lakers have reached out to the 76ers about the possibility of a Ben Simmons trade, though discussions to this point have gone nowhere, per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Initial talks centered around Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook — or at least that was the name floated by the Lakers, Fischer said on the HoopsHype podcast. But the 76ers do not have Westbrook on their reported list of players deemed acceptable as part of a Simmons trade.
“When I got the information that they called about Ben, the conversation pretty much was, ‘We’re interested in Ben. How would we get there?'” Fischer said. “The obvious solution is Russell Westbrook. He’s not a player on that Sixers list that they have.”
Simmons has been sitting out the season as both he and the 76ers seek a trade. Those around the league believe the Sixers will ramp up talks now that many players who signed offseason free agency contracts are eligible to be traded.
The Lakers, meanwhile, have gotten off to a disappointing start following the summer trade for Westbrook, who has only occasionally seemed to mesh with stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. For the record, agent Rich Paul represents James, Davis and Simmons. But it doesn’t appear a Westbrook-for-Simmons trade is in the works.
“However, the Lakers are clearly exploring their options, which is an interesting development,” wrote Sam Leweck of Lakers Daily. “The team’s Big 3 hasn’t produced the results some people were hoping for, and it sounds like L.A. isn’t opposed to making drastic changes as a result.”
Multiple sources have told Hoops Wire they believe a Simmons trade is likely to involve three or more teams, as opposed to being a straight-up deal between two. If that’s the case, then perhaps Westbrook can still be part of a deal — just not to the 76ers.
Along with the Lakers, the Knicks, Trail Blazers, Kings, Cavaliers, Pacers, Pistons and Timberwolves have been linked to Simmons.
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