• Lonzo Ball is more likely to join the Lakers over Ben Simmons
  • The Pelicans will unlikely match any huge offers on Ball
  • The Sixers are expected to keep Simmons

The Los Angeles Lakers need a playmaker, and there are a lot of them available in free agency.

Ben Simmons has proven he can play the point, but his natural position is more as a forward.

That said, it would make little sense to add another player who could crowd the plays of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Instead, Marc Stein of the New York Times suggests that the Lakers prefer to get someone who could hold the team together--albeit Lonzo Ball.

Simmons has drawn a lot of flak for his disappearing act for the Philadelphia 76ers during crunch time.

Although he has been working on it, he has yet to develop a good shooting stroke. The fact that he prefers to post up or drive to the basket has limited his options.

Even if they do pursue Simmons, the Lakers may not have the resources to put it together.

Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma could be part of the deal, which would be via sign-and-trade.

However, Daryl Morey--the Sixers president of basketball operations--may not be interested in the deal and would prefer to stick it out with the 24-year-old player.

Meanwhile, Ball has blossomed into a fine point guard and is a restricted free agent this summer.

The New Orleans Pelicans would love to keep him but may lose that grip if some other team offers big money.

A reunion with LeBron James would make sense. Critics felt that the Lakers star’s tweet saying he was leaving lines open if Ball needed to talk fueled the belief that a return was in the works.

Aside from the Lakers, other teams linked to the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft include the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans
Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images | Mitchell Leff

In a report from The Athletic citing sources, Shams Charania mentioned that the Pelicans are unlikely to match any huge offer from rival NBA clubs.

The Pelicans are $35 million below the luxury-tax line without using the mid-level exception or re-signing Ball and another ex-Laker in Josh Hart.

Both are likely to be traded with New Orleans possibly wanting a veteran that could fit into their financial matrix.