Lakers Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Ben Simmons, Myles Turner and Jerami Grant

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2021

Lakers Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Ben Simmons, Myles Turner and Jerami Grant

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Are the Los Angeles Lakers interested in acquiring Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers?

    That appears to be the case following a report Monday.

    Fans and insiders alike await the future of the point guard following his fallout with Philadelphia, and with the Lakers struggling thus far, it appears as though the team is at least exploring the terms of a prospective trade.

    As they are with Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.

    And Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons.

Are the Lakers Interested in Acquiring Ben Simmons?

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Might the Los Angeles Lakers' disappointing start to the season put them in contention to acquire Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers? According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the team joins the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers in showing interest in the point guard/forward (h/t Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors).

    It makes sense that the Lakers, struggling to find the chemistry they need to chase a championship, would at least kick the tires of a star player like Simmons, even if it is unlikely that the team would be able to bring him on board without sending a star player back in return.

    That player would likely be Russell Westbrook.

    It is unlikely the Sixers would want to bring in Westbrook, though, given the president of basketball operations Daryl Morey's unspectacular history with him in Houston.

    Realistically, it would likely take a three-team trade to make any deal for Simmons work. The Lakers have a ton of money on the books, and the likelihood they can absorb a contract worth $170 million through 2024-25, which Simmons is only a year or two into, is low.

    As is almost always the case any time rumors of major acquisitions pop up, the Lakers are bound to be mentioned as potential suitors. That they have shown a knack for bringing in big names in the pursuit of a championship only fans those flames.

Maybe Jerami Grant?

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    Brian Sevald/Getty Images

    Charania's report also linked the Lakers to the Detroit Pistons' Jerami Grant.

    "Jerami Grant is one of the most sought-after players in a potential trade, with the Lakers and [Portland] Trail Blazers among the teams pursuing the Pistons' versatile forward, sources said."

    Through 24 games, Grant is averaging 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc.

    As a complete player, Grant has improved over the last two seasons, thus generating buzz and trade talks around him. With Lakers small forward Talen Horton-Tucker the subject of trade talks every time the team is associated with an intriguing player, he could ship out to Detroit in return for Grant.

    The team would likely need to send another player to make the transaction work financially. Kendrick Nunn, like Horton-Tucker, has proved to be consistent trade bait in hypothetical trade discussions.

How About Myles Turner?

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The struggles of Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan at the center position have the Lakers in search of an upgrade at that position, beginning with the Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner, per Scott Agness on the Fieldhouse Files podcast.

    "I've heard there's been some talks with the Lakers. Previously Charlotte checked in several times," Agness said.

    Turner is an elite defender, averaging nearly three blocks per game and 5.9 defensive rebounds. He's also shooting 68.5 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc. Howard and Jordan pale defensively, so Turner would be an instant upgrade. Even Anthony Davis, who already doesn't like playing center, has struggled to produce at the position.

    A potential trade package involving Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker, both frequently named in any discussions involving the Lakers, would possibly match Turner's $18 million contract, but whether the Pacers would give up one of their best players without a star in return is the question.