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Lakers claim to have declined Sixers’ request for Ben Simmons to work with Magic Johnson

Lakers, Sixers, Ben Simmons, Magic Johnson

A recent report from a local Philadelphia radio station suggested 76ers general manager Elton Brand shut down potential talks between Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and point guard Ben Simmons. The latest report from L.A. suggests it was the other way around, with GM Rob Pelinka calling Brand to say they felt uncomfortable making this happen with Simmons, who was the one seeking out Johnson, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.

“I’ve had a source tell me that the 76ers initiated the discussion about Simmons wanting to meet with Magic,” wrote Ganguli. “The source said Pelinka was calling Elton Brand back to say they weren’t comfortable with it.

“Spoke to someone familiar with Simmons’ thinking who said Simmons spends his summers in LA, that his desire to meet with Johnson is simply about their on-court similarities, and that he’ll be a Sixer for a long time.”

This latest report seems like a smokescreen to blur out a potential connection between Simmons, a Klutch Sports client, and the Lakers, who recently (and very publicly) went after Anthony Davis.

Brand knows the connection between these two players and Anthony Davis, and risking a “mentorship” talk between his star point guard and the Hall of Fame dime maestro could get dicey, especially with only hearsay to document what went on between the Sixers’ star and the Lakers’ president.

Johnson has already been forced to pay for violating the anti-tampering laws, and this could very well be Pelinka trying to keep him from making another public appearance to apologize to the league and its owners. Though it’s tough to foresee a Lakers team so devoid of talent not taking this opportunity if it indeed rolled their way, as the report states.