10 Reasons Why Lakers Should Trade Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons!
Swapping point guards could solve the dilemmas the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers find themselves at this point in the season. It’s literally the perfect deal for Ben, Russ, Lakers, Sixers, and Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.
The Lakers and Sixers have both underperformed this season and sit in 6th place in their respective conferences. Westbrook would immediately elevate Philadelphia into the top four seeds in the tough Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Simmons would give the Lakers a replacement for Westbrook who could help solve many of the Lakers’ problems, including making them bigger, better, and more versatile and potent at both ends of the court.
While trading a point guard who can’t shoot for one who won’t shoot could seem counter productive, here are ten reasons why the Los Angeles Lakers should seriously consider trading Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons:
- Simmons Is a Better Defender. Ben was 1st team All-NBA Defensive team for 2020 and 2021. Russ has never made an All-NBA Defensive team.
- Simmons Takes Better Care of Ball. Ben has a career average of 3.4 turnovers per game whereas Russ’ average is 4.1 turnovers per game.
- Simmons Is a More Efficient Shooter. Ben is a career 56% shooter from the field whereas Russ is just a 43.8% shooter from the field.
- Simmons Makes Lakers Bigger. Ben is 6' 11," 240 lbs while Russ is 6' 3," 200 lbs. Ben is 8" taller and 40 lbs heavier than Russ.
- Simmons Is a Better Rebounder. Ben has a career rebounding average of 8.1 rebounds per game versus 7.4 rebounds per game for Russ.
- Simmons Makes Lakers More Versatile. Ben can play point guard, power forward, or center while Russ can only play point guard.
- Simmons Has a Higher PER. Ben is averaging 18.38 PER this season versus 16.61 PER for Russ this season.
- Simmons Makes Lakers Younger. Ben is only 25-years old while Russ is 32-years old. Ben is 7 years younger than Russ.
- Simmons Saves Lakers Salary. Ben earns $33.0 million while Russ earns $44.2 million this season, a difference of $11.2 million per year.
- Simmons Has Longer Contract. Ben has three more years left on his contract while Russ only has one year left on his contract.
How Possible Is a Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons Trade?
The Sixers should be interested in an offer of Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons and we could see early action starting this Wednesday when most of the free agents signed this summer finally become eligible to be traded.
Westbrook in many ways is the perfect fit for Philly as he’s a high usage elite playmaker who is a constant threat to post a triple-double but without any 3-point gravity. Ironically, as a point guard, Russ plays very similar to Ben. Trading Simmons for a point guard with similar style of play and ability to impact the game like Westbrook would minimize the adjustments the Sixers have to make on the fly in a more competitive Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons is lost in limbo and the Sixers left with an empty bag. If they want to be legitimate contenders who can beat the favored Bucks and Nets, they’re going to have to make a move before the trade deadline. That Russ has really ramped up his play the last few weeks only makes the potential trade for Ben even more tantalizing for both sides. Other than Kyrie, Russ is probably the best available superstar the Sixers could acquire.
Are there teams who might offer Philly more for Simmons than Westbrook? Per Shams Charania, the Knicks, Wolves, Blazers, Kings, Pacers, and Cavs are all interested in trading for Ben Simmons but won’t be offering a superstar.
How Would Swapping Westbrook for Simmons Affect the Lakers?
A superstar big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Ben Simmons would not only be the perfect solution to the Lakers quest for their 18th NBA but also an agent’s dream come true for Klutch Sports’ mogul Rich Paul.
Swapping Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons and Furkan Korkmaz would immediately help the rebounding size and points-in-the-paint problems that have devastated the Lakers’ small ball lineups with Anthony Davis at the five. Replacing Westbrook with Simmons also dramatically improves the Lakers defensively. Suddenly, they have three All-NBA quality defenders who can actually defend all five positions in the paint or beyond the 3-point line.
Because Westbrook makes $11 million more per year than Simmons, the Sixers would have to include an additional player like 6' 7,” 200 lbs Furkan Korkmaz, who would give the Lakers an elite volume 3-point shooter. Additionally, the Lakers would still have Talen Horton-Tucker’s $10 million contract, Kendrick Nunn’s $5 million contracts, and their 2027 first round pick to upgrade one of the other two positions in their starting lineup.
Assuming Simmons was all-in for what the Lakers wanted from him, trading Russell Westbrook for him would certainly improve the Lakers’ odds of winning their 18th championship and position themselves for other moves.
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