An insider provides an update on the Lakers' Ben Simmons trade talks.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still linked to Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, who is unhappy with his current team.
However, given their current roster, the Lakers face an uphill battle to land Simmons.
The Lakers aren't willing to part with Anthony Davis or LeBron James, leaving Russell Westbrook as the only player with a salary that makes a deal for Simmons feasible.
The Lakers have had talks with the Sixers, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, but he downplayed the chances of a deal because Philly isn't interested in Westbrook.
The Lakers' talks with the 76ers about Simmons "never progressed very far," according to Fischer.
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Fischer's update comes after Shams Charania of The Athletic dropped a bombshell about the Lakers' pursuit of Simmons.
The Lakers are part of "a fresh pool of teams" that have emerged as potential trade partners for the Sixers, according to Charania.
The Sixers are reportedly holding out for a top-25 player in exchange for Simmons, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
What are the Lakers, or any of the other contenders, getting with Simmons? The 76ers guard has yet to play a game this season, and the last time he was on the court, he appeared to have lost all confidence as Philadelphia lost in the playoffs to Atlanta.
The Lakers are unlikely to land Simmons, but early indications suggest they will try to be active during the NBA trade deadline on February 10. The challenge for Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is that the team has few tradable assets.
The Lakers, according to Bleacher Report's Dan Favale, are one of the teams that needs to make a trade to "save their season."
"It will be difficult to change the makeup of this team," Favale explained.
"The three highest-paid players on the Lakers' roster are either off-limits (LeBron, AD) or non-assets (Russ)."
They can get a player worth around $18.2 million by combining Talen Horton-Tucker (trade-eligible Jan. 15) and Kendrick Nunn, but sweetening a package beyond them is difficult.
They can only offer a first-round pick in 2027 or 2028, swaps in 2023 and 2026, and second-rounders in 2023 and 2026.
For their own sake, they should be prepared to use every resource at their disposal."