The Philadelphia 76ers have been eliminated from the playoffs, as they lost the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Toronto Raptors. The offseason has just begun for the 76ers and already there are rumors surrounding them.
The rumor that is surrounding them is Ben Simmons could get traded to the Los Angles Lakers for LeBron James. ESPN’s Stephan A. Smith said recently, via Tyler Lauletta of Business Insider:
“Nothing is out of bounds right now. We don’t know what the hell is going on in Los Angeles. You’ve got folks close to Jeanie Buss imploring her to trade LeBron James. He does not have a no-trade clause, and now you haven’t given him the coach that he wanted.”
NBC Sports NBA insider Tom Haberstroh wrote: Fair or not, Simmons failing to add some semblance of a jump shot in Year 2 of his career is seen as a reason that Philadelphia has to put him on the trade block. Perhaps this is just wishful thinking by rival executives. There has been no indication from the Philly side that Simmons is being floated or will be this summer.
“I think they very well might explore that,”a rival executive to Philadelphia told Haberstroh.
If the 76ers want to trade Simmons for LeBron, it might be difficult to do. According to Haberstroh, Simmons will make $8.1 million next season and because of that he would have to be packaged with another max-lever player to match LeBron’s $37.1 milion salary.
Another thing that would make a Simmons-LeBron trade difficult is LeBron not wanting to be traded. LeBron signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers in July and last month he rsesponed to rumors that he wanted a trade on Instagram, saying the rumors weren’t true at all, according to Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report.
The 76ers shouldn’t trade Simmons for LeBron because it would be a bad move. Simmons was the Rookie of the Year last year and this season he averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. The Lakers were 37-45 this season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year. While Simmons could help the Lakers win and make the playoffs, the 76ers would have a hard time making the playoffs without Simmons.
LeBron is 34 years old and wouldn’t be able to help the 76ers that much. LeBron could maybe bring a title to Philly but wouldn’t be able to do much else to help the 76ers. Simmons on the other hand, can get better and help the 76ers possibly win multiple titles and have a bright future, something that LeBron won’t be able to do.
The smart thing for the 76ers to do will be to keep Simmons and not trade him because trading Simmons would be a bad move.