The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers both sit at sixth in their respective conferences with identical 15-13 records thus far in the NBA season. The Lakers have underachieved relative to preseason expectations, calling into question whether some of the pieces, such as star guard Russell Westbrook, actually fit. On the flip side, the Sixers have been involved in a saga with Ben Simmons since the offseason, with Simmons clearly wanting no parts of Philadelphia. With NBA trade rumors swirling, the possibility of a Simmons-Westbrook swap between the Sixers and Lakers was recently discussed by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer … and it’s almost certainly not happening.
On paper, this would seem to be a reasonable NBA trade for both the Lakers and Sixers, which rarely happens in swaps such as these. The Lakers would get rid of Westbrook, who is a great player but perhaps an imperfect fit for Los Angeles’ roster. The Sixers would receive an All-Star-caliber player in return for Ben Simmons, something they have reportedly coveted.
On top of all that, the salaries match, as Bleacher Report outlines. Westbrook’s cap hit is the only one on the Lakers aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, to match Simmons’ with the Sixers.
However, as Bleacher Report outlines, Westbrook is not on their list of players they want in return for Simmons, who had drawn the Lakers’ interest, so talks never went far between the two teams.
It’s probably a good thing for the Lakers, because while Simmons would be a major upgrade on defense, he would be another ball-dominant player alongside LeBron, which is the exact problem the Lakers seem to be having with Westbrook.
Plus, it’s always possible that Sixers star Joel Embiid and Westbrook would clash in Philly.
Still, it’s fun for NBA fans to imagine the possibilities if the Lakers and Sixers were to ever discuss a trade between Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook.