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Well past the midway point of the season, it’s clear the Lakers’ roster needs some form of a shake-up, whether a big or small one. While the Lakers may have visions of something big, having called on Ben Simmons in the past and previously shopping Russell Westbrook, the likelihood is that something much smaller will happen, especially with teams not viewing Talen Horton-Tucker as a valuable trade asset.
But the general consensus around the league remains that the status quo is not enough for the Lakers. In our latest SB Nation Reacts survey, the Lakers were the team voted by NBA fans as most in need of a shake-up.
The problem remains that a “splash” move would require valuable trade assets that the Lakers don’t seem to have. With Westbrook’s contract too much of an albatross, Horton-Tucker struggling, Kendrick Nunn unable to get on the court and their closest tradeable first round pick being in 2027, don’t necessarily expect any kind of splash deal from the Lakers.
Ben Simmons drama looms
One of the players the Lakers previously asked about in their trade inquiries was Ben Simmons, though their advances were pretty quickly rebuffed. But Simmons and the Sixers have remained at an impasse all season long, with the franchise holding firm on their asking price in a trade package.
But with this stalemate playing out while the Sixers are still contending atop the Eastern Conference behind an MVP-level season from Joel Embiid, the argument remains that the team should cash in on their best trade asset now and make a run at the title this season.
Personally, it’s enjoyable to watch Simmons play basketball, especially when he’s given freedom to run and push the pace. For that reason alone, getting the chance to watch him play again is enough to want the Sixers to move on from a situation that seemingly has no good ending.
But Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey is nothing if not stubborn, and it’s unlikely that Simmons is moved, something most Sixers fans aren’t worried about.
This standoff between the two sides seems destined to play out into the offseason when things could get extra interesting, with both more trade potential — and more public disagreements between Simmons and the Sixers.
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