This Lakers-Sixers Trade Features Ben Simmons To L.A.

Ben Simmons
NBA Analysis Network
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA Rumors, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
How This Trade Impacts Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers’ biggest concern with Russell Westbrook is how he plays alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He showed against the San Antonio Spurs he is still more than capable of picking up the slack when needed, but building chemistry between the three is imperative.

This wouldn’t be as big of an adjustment as it would seem to insert Ben Simmons in for Westbrook. Both are non-shooting threats, so the lack of floor spacing still persists. But, Simmons could be used as an elite option as a screener. If anyone could get him to buy into adjusting his role to something like that, it is James.

The Lakers would also receive a huge upgrade defensively. Simmons can defend all five positions on the court and would be their defensive ace. He can pick up whomever the Lakers want him to, whether it is a point guard or center.

That kind of versatility would give Frank Vogel a ton of flexibility when it came to lineup configuration. Having a player that can defend literally anyone means he could sacrifice a little defense elsewhere to get another shooter on the court to help the offense.

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Los Angeles would likely try and pry someone such as Danny Green out of Philadelphia to make the salary work, but Daryl Morey isn’t going to part with more rotation players than he has to.

Youngsters Isaiah Joe and Jaden Springer are used to match salary, giving Los Angeles some youth at the end of their roster. They could eventually grow into rotation roles such as Talen Horton-Tucker has.

For the purple and gold, this trade is a home run. Simmons is 25-years old and can be a pillar of the franchise along with Davis once James moves on. With so many veterans to learn from on the roster and good coaching staff, the Lakers could have the organizational makeup to help Simmons unlock his potential.

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