With the NBA's moratorium on players acquired during the offseason being lifted, teams are looking to move pieces around in their quest to put together the perfect squad.
The Los Angeles Lakers made the most changes during the 2021 offseason, bringing in 11 new players. The idea was to bring in certified bucket-getters to increase their chances of winning the championship, but age has been a factor so far in their campaign. They are having a hard time on defense as younger players are blowing past them.
Due to the inconsistencies in their performance, there have been several trade rumors surrounding the Lakers as we approach the trade deadline. It was reported that the Lakers, among other teams, were interested in acquiring Detroit Pistons Jerami Grant. There was also chatter that the Lakers have indicated an interest in the Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons.
Now, a new report suggests that Russell Westbrook might be the player on the chopping block in their quest to secure Simmons' signature. According to Heavy Sports' Sean Deveney, league executives believe a Westbrook-Simmons trade is a possibility.
“I think Morey still likes Westbrook and there could be a deal in there,” an East GM said. “I think you would need a third team to make the money work because the Lakers do not have a lot of middle-tier guys or draft picks they can add to get the Sixers’ interest. But really, it would come down to, would Russ be enough of a return for Simmons? They’re holding out for the (James) Hardens and the (Damian) Lillards now, and it’s a matter of whether that changes.”
The Sixers have previously expressed their desire to get a top 25 player, a category Westbrook easily falls under. The deal will make sense for the Lakers, as they are in dire need of an elite-level defender to help their cause. Morey and Westbrook have worked together in Houston and Oklahoma. While that did not give the desired outcome, it shows how much Morey trusts Westbrook's abilities.