The Los Angeles Lakers have been besieged by issues on and off the hardwood court throughout the NBA season. Starting from the retirement of Kobe Bryant to the concerns of the coaching staff, the D'Angelo Russell squad has been struggling to survive this year. While the sheer number of issues appears to be burying the Los Angeles Lakers in the Stephen Curry-led Western Conference, it looks like there is still a silver lining.
Ben Simmons is rumored to be interested in joining the Julius Randle squad. The LSU Tigers star is reportedly gunning for a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. With the exit of the Black Mamba this season, it becomes apparent that the NBA team is actively rebuilding its core. Hence, the addition of the potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick will certainly boost the lineup.
Apart from his skills, Simmons might have lesser difficulty regarding adapting to the NBA. A factor that could be presumed to help the LSU star in the change is Russell. The Los Angeles Lakers rookie is a widely known colleague of Simmons. In fact, Russell and Simmons have played together in the past.
"Ben came when he was a sophomore and I was a junior - he's actually a year older than me (20)," said Russell of Simmons. He added, "But I knew he'd be a pro right away. He's so versatile. He was a guy you couldn't put into a box. He did everything. He reminds me of (Giannis) Antetokounmpo."
With the potential entry of Simmons in the Los Angeles Lakers roster, some fans speculate that the focus might considerably shift to him. That is, Randle, Nance, Jr and Russell might no longer receive the attention they need next season. Moreover, the departure of Bryant will push the franchise to establish the face of the team. Prior to Simmons' possible signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell was pegged as the next Kobe Bryant.
"What makes him special is his ability to handle the ball," remarked an unnamed NBA executive of Simmons via the Los Angeles Daily News. The exec added, "He's the most unique handling big to come to the league since LeBron James."
Liam Simmons, the rising star's brother, also commented on the LSU player's potential entry in the Los Angeles Lakers roster.
"He's going to be happy and appreciative of anywhere he goes," Liam said. He added, "The [Los Angeles] Lakers franchise is a juggernaut. Along with that comes the responsibility of carrying the franchise's name and the legends before him. I think he'll enjoy that."