NBA trade rumors continue to flow as the 2016-17 regular season has begun. Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, broke his foot early in training camp while practicing with the Philadelphia 76ers. CBS Sports subsequently reported that Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, won’t let his client play this year even if he is cleared to return late in the season. Either way, Simmons will be out most of the 2016-17 campaign at a minimum, so teams are contacting the Sixers to find out if Simmons might be available via trade.
According to Sportsrageous, the Los Angeles Lakers might be willing to send rookie Brandon Ingram to Philadelphia if it means the Lakers can come out of that trade with a star (or potential star) player. Headlines & Global News suggested that the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers might already be discussing a deal that centers around Nerlens Noel and Brandon Knight.
Current NBA trade rumors indicate that there could be a related three-team trade in the works involving the Lakers, Sixers, and Suns. The structure of this rumored scenario is as follows. The Los Angeles Lakers would acquire power forward Ben Simmons, while the Philadelphia 76ers would obtain small forward Brandon Ingram, power forward Dragan Bender, and point guard Brandon Knight. The Phoenix Suns would welcome center Nerlens Noel, shooting guard Lou Williams, and the Lakers’ first-round pick in 2017.
Many of the NBA trade rumors that are found on the internet could be busted right out of the gate by looking at the legality of the proposed deal. In this case, however, the NBA league office would approve this three-team, six-player transaction (per the ESPN NBA Trade Machine).
The salaries being traded in this hypothetical swap don’t come close to matching, as Philadelphia would bring in $22.2 million, Phoenix would accept $11.4 million in salary, and Los Angeles would only have an incoming total of $5.9 million. The reason the trade would still satisfy all NBA trade and salary cap restrictions is due to the fact that the Sixers and Suns both have cap space available, so they can take on extra salary and still remain within league trade guidelines.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are clearly in rebuilding mode after the retirement of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. The Lakers do not currently have any superstar performers on their roster, but they do have several young players who might become stars in the near future. If this swap actually happens, Los Angeles would give up Brandon Ingram, Lou Williams, and a future first-round pick for Ben Simmons. Right away, this proposal sounds too expensive for the Lakers, but would Ben Simmons’ fit in the team’s lineup change that perception?
Julius Randle, himself a high draft pick (seventh overall in the 2014 NBA Draft), is Los Angeles’ current starting power forward. Randle is considered an up-and-coming talent with NBA All-Star potential, so the Lakers don’t have a pressing need at this position. That, along with the expense of the rumored trade offer, is enough for Los Angeles to pass and pass quickly on this possible player exchange.
The Philadelphia 76ers would be sending out Simmons and Nerlens Noel for Ingram, Dragan Bender, and Brandon Knight. That would be a ton of talent switching teams if this deal took place, but it appears that the Sixers would be very tempted to pull the trigger on this rumored offer.
Noel is part of the team’s three-headed monster at center, and one of those players needs to be moved to balance out their roster. Simmons is expected to be an NBA All-Star and perhaps a future superstar, but frankly, so is Brandon Ingram. Philadelphia would also get another high draft pick with lofty expectations (Bender), as well as a point guard in Knight who could challenge for the starting job.
The Phoenix Suns’ end of this three-team transaction would require them to ship out Knight and Bender for Nerlens Noel and Lou Williams. In terms of value, this is a fair enough deal, but in terms of fit, this doesn’t seem to work for the Suns. Bender and Knight are both backups, but the incoming players would be at positions of relative strength for Phoenix. The Suns have Tyson Chandler and Alex Len at center, in addition to young star Devin Booker at shooting guard. This deal really doesn’t accomplish anything significant for Phoenix, so they would likely say thank you, but no thank you to this rumored trade scenario.
The latest NBA trade rumors are buzzing about a potential swap between the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Phoenix Suns. The Sixers would probably go for this deal, but is it very likely that the Lakers and Suns would not.
This creation of the NBA rumor mill definitely contains some intrigue, as most of the players mentioned here are thought to be headed for NBA stardom. However, NBA teams are often hesitant to trade young talent, even if the deal makes sense for them. In this scenario, only one of the three teams would appear to benefit from this massive trade, so this NBA trade rumor could easily be shot down.
[Featured Image by Denis Poroy/AP Images]