NBA Trade Rumors: Exec Thinks 76ers 'Might' Explore LeBron James for Ben Simmons

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers in action at the Wells Fargo Center on February 10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Lakers 143-120. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

All teams look for ways to improve the roster after being eliminated from the playoffs, but the Philadelphia 76ers might have a blockbuster move in mind.

According to Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports, the team could look at trading away Ben Simmons for LeBron James.

"I think they very well might explore that," a rival executive said of the possible trade.

Simmons was the Rookie of the Year last season and an All-Star this year as someone who can fill up the stat sheet in a lot of different ways. Considering he is still just 22 years old, he has enormous potential.

However, there is a question about how he fits on the 76ers roster and if he can lead Philadelphia to a title. 

"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," Haberstroh wrote.

Executives also reportedly expect a "major shake-up" in Philadelphia this offseason.

The 76ers showed they are willing to be aggressive on the trade market, acquiring both Jimmy Butler (2019-20 player option) and Tobias Harris during the season. While both can be free agents, they could return to make the team a top contender once again.

Of course, pairing James with Joel Embiid alone would make any team a threat to win a title.

From the other perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers showed last season they weren't as close to winning as many believed. Instead of wasting away more prime LeBron years, they could acquire Simmons, who could grow alongside the core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

The Lakers would be better set up for the future, while the 76ers would be an immediate threat to get past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since Allen Iverson led them to the Finals in 2001. 

Although the financial implications of a trade could be difficult to navigate, the opportunity is there for a major move.

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