PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two new teams are reportedly interested in trading for disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons. On Monday, The Athletic reported that the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as potential destinations.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Indiana Pacers, and Cleveland Cavaliers were also mentioned in the report, but all of those teams have previously been named as possible landing spots for Simmons.
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Here’s part of the story from The Athletic:
The 76ers are ramping up their efforts to spark multi-team trade scenarios to move Simmons, sources said, and a fresh pool of teams has emerged as potential destinations.
The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams interested in Simmons, sources said, although it’s unclear how much traction Philadelphia truly has on any move.
The Lakers have been rumored as a potential landing spot for Simmons for quite a while. Simmons could potentially join LeBron James, one of his mentors, who’s also signed to Rich Paul at Klutch Sports.
But a trade with the Lakers is complicated.
In order for the Lakers to pull off a deal for Simmons, James, Anthony Davis, or Russell Westbrook would have to be included in the deal.
The Lakers would probably love to deal Westbrook for Simmons, but that’s most likely going to be a hard no for president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
Westbrook’s on-court fit with the Sixers wouldn’t help their spacing situation on offense at all. Plus, he’s got a pretty lengthy history with Joel Embiid.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: Suspect Arrested After Double Shooting Inside Frankford Market Leaves 2 Men Critically Injured
The other team to emerge, the Knicks, might have a piece that could interest the Sixers.
At the end of November, Kemba Walker, who signed a two-year deal with the Knicks during the offseason, is out of the rotation. He hasn’t played in a game since Nov. 26.
Walker would fit on the Sixers and be a nice veteran for Tyrese Maxey to learn from, but there’s a big problem when it comes to the former UConn product: he’s not the same player he once was.
Walker’s age and injuries are starting to catch up to him. He hasn’t played a full season since the 2018-19 and he’s dealt with knee injuries in the past.
Walkers was averaging a career-low 11.7 points per game through 18 contests this season.
Like potentially acquiring Westbrook, Morey most likely says no to this potential deal as well.MORE NEWS: Family, Friends Hold Vigil For Woman Killed In North Philadelphia Hit-And-Run
As The Atheltic noted, the Sixers are seeking an All-Star caliber player and/or multiple first-round picks for Simmons, and neither Westbrook nor Walker fit that bill.