Report: Lakers interested in Ben Simmons but Sixers don’t want Russell Westbrook in return

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are interested in Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, but there is one thing that would hold up a potential deal.

While the Lakers are interested in Simmons, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer on the The Anthony Irwin Show, Russell Westbrook isn’t one of the players the Sixers wish to acquire in a deal for Simmons.

“What I was told is that the Lakers called Philly and they said, ‘We’re interested in Ben,’” Fischer said. “It was a short conversation, being that to get there the only salary numbers that could match Ben Simmons’ own expensive salary is A.D. (Anthony Davis), or LeBron [James], or Russ’. THT (Talen Horton-Tucker) and Kendrick Nunn and a bunch of minimums aren’t getting there. Like literally, the only way of getting there contractually is to put in Russell Westbrook. And he’s just not a player (the Sixers want).

“The Sixers have a literal, tangible (list). I don’t know how long it is, but somewhere between 20 and 30 players that they would take back for Ben Simmons. They do. And Damian Lillard is on it, James Harden is on it, and Bradley Beal is on it, and Jaylen Brown is on it, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is on it, you can think of the other guys that are on there but not becoming available. … I know that they have these All-Stars that they want, and Russell Westbrook is not one of those guys.”

Simmons would bring an interesting dynamic to the Lakers on both ends of the floor, but he seems like more of a wish list item than a realistic trade target.

The three-time All-Star has yet to play for the Sixers this season.

As for Westbrook, he is averaging 19.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game this season while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers acquired Westbrook this past offseason in a trade with the Washington Wizards. While things haven’t worked out the way Los Angeles hoped just yet, it seems like Westbrook will get some time to help the Lakers climb back up the Western Conference standings this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.