The upcoming NBA Draft will see trade talks ramp up this week and could see big developments on the future of Ben Simmons.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that trade discussions involving the 25-year old are expected to get “serious”.
“The Sixers are engaged in trade talks, they’re taking on offers, they’re making offers around the league,” he said on ESPN’s ‘Woj and Lowe’.
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“They are doing a trade to continue wanting to be a championship contender. He [Simmons] has four years left on his contract and they can’t overreact to that Atlanta series.
“He really has no leverage on where he can go, if you trade for Ben Simmons you know you’ve got him under contract and that opens up the landscape of teams.
“It will be serious this week. If there is a deal out there they will do it but they know they’ve got one crack at this and making the wrong deal takes them out of championship contention with Joel Embiid. They have to be careful.”
Cleveland, Indiana, Minnesota, Sacramento and Toronto have all reportedly shown interest in Simmons but none have offered the All-Star-calibre return the Sixers are after.
The Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans and Heat are all in contention.
The two names Philadelphia will be monitoring closely though are Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.
BRADLEY BEAL SERIOUSLY MULLS TRADE REQUEST
Speaking of Beal, Charania also reports that the Washington Wizards star is “seriously mulling his future” and is “very much on the fence” about whether to request a trade.
Beal led from the front for the Wizards last season alongside Russell Westbrook, averaging 31.3 points per game as Washington surged into the playoffs on the back of a 17-6 run.
Beal, like Lillard, has been loyal with Washington but Charania reports that he will take the next weekend to give a potential move serious thought with a decision on the cards this week.
He could become a free agent next offseason with a $36.4 million ($A49.4m) player option after the 2021-22 season.
Beal is also eligible for a four-year, $182 million ($A247m) extension this summer and 10-year veteran max extension next summer worth $235 million ($A319m) over five years.
The All-NBA guard made it clear before last season that he hoped to stay put but that winning would play a big factor in his final decision.
“My biggest thing is win now, you know?” Beal said at the time.
“I wanna win. I’m here under contract for this year, next year and a player option, too. So, it’s just a matter of, we gotta win. And the organisation knows that.”
LAKERS’ BID TO FIX GLARING PROBLEM
Meanwhile, the Lakers are expected to make a big move in the off-season in a bid to provide support for their two biggest stars.
Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis battled injury setbacks during the 2020-21 season and it proved costly in L.A.’s quest for back-to-back titles.
The lack of a genuine third option with playmaking and shot creation limited the Lakers’ offensive impact without the pair and they are desperate to find a solution.
Charania reports Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiwddie are all targets but that one trade in particular is gaining momentum.
“The Lakers and Sacramento Kings have discussed a deal centred on guard Buddy Hield, sources tell The Athletic,” he wrote.
“Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma would be involved in a potential package, per sources.”
He added that L.A. have received interest from “several teams” for Kuzma.
The Lakers don’t have any cap space this offseason, meaning they have limited room to move in free agency.
Hield shot 39.1 per cent from downtown last season which would help space the floor for a Lakers side that ranked 24th for 3-pointers attempted and 21st in 3-point percentage.