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As the 2022 NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, teams are beginning to establish themselves as buyers or sellers. 

Ever since the Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons era started in Philadelphia, the 76ers have been buyers near the deadline. This year is slightly different as they have been urged to sell Ben Simmons, though.

Right now, the likelihood of the Sixers trading Simmons before the deadline is low. While the Sixers are open to moving the three-time All-Star, they aren’t willing to do it for less than what they are asking for, which is an All-Star caliber player in return.

Several teams have inquired and shown interest in Simmons, but no team has made an offer that intrigued Daryl Morey and Philly’s front office enough to get something done. That includes the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly looking to buy a notable upgrade ahead of the deadline.

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Who are the Lakers Targeting?

Two years after winning the NBA title, the Lakers are looking to rekindle that flame they had during the 2019-2020 NBA season. After getting off to a 22-22 start this year in a tough Western Conference, the Lakers understand they might need another star to add to their roster.

According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, Ben Simmons is among the names the Lakers “have explored” this season.

"The Lakers have explored several trades ahead of the February 10 trade deadline. Sources indicate they have looked at players like Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant, Myles Turner and Harrison Barnes, among others.”

The Lakers might’ve considered Simmons, but it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to land him. While a Russell Westbrook for Simmons swap has been thrown out there many times in the past, countless reports have made it evident that Philadelphia isn’t interested in the former MVP. 

And since the Lakers won’t be offering up any of their other All-Stars, there is little-to-no chance Simmons ends up on the Lakers before the trade deadline kicks in. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.