With everything that is going down with the Los Angeles Lakers right now, it could very well end up with the front office actually trying to trade the biggest free agent the franchise has scored in years.
The team just hired Frank Vogel as the new head coach, and that only came after the team completely disrespected talks with ex-Cavs coach Tyronn Lue and caused him to pull out altogether.
Now, it seems the team just might try and part ways with LeBron for….Ben Simmons?
For the entire postseason run in 2019, Ben Simmons took zero shots outside 12 feet and he struggled to be consistent on the offensive side of the ball.
Via NBC Sports:
“…one Western Conference executive brought up a name that could be a Simmons trade target: LeBron James.
“I think they very well might explore that,” said a rival executive of Philadelphia.
James doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but he shares the same Klutch Sports agent with Ben Simmons in Rich Paul. James has two seasons left on his deal before he can become a free agent. After a disastrous offseason in which their president of basketball operations abruptly resigned and they struck out on their top two head coaching targets in Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue, do the Los Angeles Lakers honestly believe they can put together a championship contender in the next two seasons?
If the answer is no, trading James has to be on the table. And if you’re going to do that, there’s a short list of players that would be worthy of being traded for the King. Simmons is certainly good enough to be on it.”
If the Lakers are wanting to actually to do it, here is how it would have to play out:
“A Simmons-James swap becomes tricky because Simmons makes $8.1 million next season, before his rookie extension kicks in beginning in 2020-21 (he will be eligible for extension this summer). Because of that comparatively low salary, Simmons will have to be packaged with another max-level player, or near it, to match James’ huge $37.1 million salary for 2020-21. The Sixers could ink Harris to a sign-and-trade, but not for the five-year max. The new collective bargaining agreement removed that option from the toolkit. Harris would only agree to that if the Lakers were over the cap, which they’re not currently, and Harris desperately wanted to go there. The same goes for Butler in a potential blockbuster trade. Again, this is tricky.
There’s another wrinkle to this: Ty Lue turned down the Lakers job for a reason. He felt he could get a better job elsewhere. He’s holding out for something. Could that job be Philly? It’s not available at the moment. But there’s more than just a little chatter about the Sixers and the Lakers being potential trade partners this summer. Crazier things have happened in this league than Lue and James on a Sixers sideline next to Embiid.”
Several executives see a major shakeup in Philadelphia this summer, according to the report. many believe Brett Brown’s tenure in Philly is certainly going to come to an end.