Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Ben Simmons' Interest, Buddy Hield Trade Pursuit

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 8, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, left, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

There's no question what the biggest trade of the offseason has been: the deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers, immediately improving the team's core as it looks to win its second NBA title in three seasons.

Not only is Westbrook now in Los Angeles, but the Lakers also had to send Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Washington Wizards. The transaction led to Los Angeles filling its roster holes with a slew of free-agent signings, many of whom were veterans.

While the Westbrook trade was huge, maybe the Lakers aren't done dealing. It's possible they will look to continue to strengthen their rotation and bring in another solid player or two.

Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the Lakers.


Does Simmons Want to Come to California?

Since the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the second round of the NBA playoffs in June, there have been constant rumors about the team trading Ben Simmons. Yet it's August and no deal has materialized.

That doesn't mean Simmons is necessarily staying put, though. In fact, his relationship with the 76ers is "beyond repair," according to Jason Dumas of KRON4News, who said during an appearance on 95.7 The Game that the situation is "getting worse by the day with Ben in Philly."

Dumas also reported that Simmons would like to play for one of the teams in California. It isn't clear which one he would prefer, but there are four: the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and, of course, the Lakers.

Is there a situation in which the Lakers could have a core featuring Simmons, Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis? Could all of those stars coexist on a superteam?

There's nothing tying Simmons to the Lakers, but it is interesting that the 25-year-old guard wants to come to California. And if that's the case, it seems like the Lakers, Clippers or Warriors would be the most enticing spots for Simmons considering they are probable playoff contenders entering 2021-22.

Maybe nothing changes and Simmons stays in Philadelphia. Or perhaps he could still get traded to a non-Californian team. Either way, expect more rumors this offseason.


Lakers Still Hoping to Land Hield in Trade

Before the Lakers traded for Westbrook, there was a lot of buzz about a potential deal that would send shooting guard Buddy Hield from Sacramento to Los Angeles. However, it never came to fruition, and Hield remains with the Kings.

It appears the Lakers aren't done pursuing Hield, though. Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer recently reported that they "have not ended their search" for a way to trade for Hield, who would give Los Angeles another solid scoring option in its rotation.

Fischer also indicated that the Lakers could try to bring in Hield in a sign-and-trade deal for point guard Dennis Schroder, who remains an unrestricted free agent after spending last season in Los Angeles. However, there are likely other potential landing spots for Schroder too.

If Los Angeles finds a way to acquire Hield, it will be interesting to see how that would affect playing time for the other shooting guards the team has brought in this offseason. The Lakers have signed Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore and Malik Monk, and they also re-signed Talen Horton-Tucker.

Hield would be the best among the mix, though, considering he averaged 16.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 71 games for the Kings last season. A five-year NBA veteran, the 28-year-old likely has plenty of productive years ahead of him.