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NBA Free Agency Rumors: Is Ben Simmons trying to recruit LeBron James to Philly?

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Why not?

You may or may not have heard that LeBron James isn’t too pleased with the direction (read: lack thereof) the Cavs front office is heading in. Prior to the chaos unfolding this summer, there were already rumors suggesting LeBron was interested in taking his talents to Los Angeles after next season, with the possibility of getting the infamous Banana Boat crew together.

But if he’s going to jump ship next offseason, why not make—or at least consider—a move to the Sixers? It would be a step up in degree of difficulty, sure, but there is more than enough talent on hand already that would allow him to keep his NBA Finals streak alive. The Sixers have a lot to prove this year to generate real interest from a player of LeBron’s caliber, though a move to Philadelphia would at the very least keep him in the Eastern Conference.

There would be a lot of moving parts in a Lebron-to-Philly move—don’t expect him to want to play alongside a team full of young guys—and a major key would be Joel Embiid proving he can stay healthy this year. LeBron has already seen Embiid’s impact up close and personal, and joining up with a developing team would be a lot easier if he knew he was playing alongside one of the most impactful players in the game.

And to answer the question posed in the headline—of course he is! Having already developed a close bond with the guy some analysts have compared him to as a prospect, there aren’t many better recruiters you could ask for than Ben Simmons. He has the inside track on LeBron, as documented by their workouts together in Las Vegas this summer, and just like almost any player around the league, he’d be thrilled to play alongside him.

Of course, it’s going to take more than a side eye tweet to get the best player in the league to make the jump, and the likelihood is Simmons will work with his mentor mostly from afar. I can’t see LeBron taking a risk like that at this stage of his career, particularly when he can stand pat on a title contender, or head to a team like the Lakers that would effectively be a shapeless wad of clay he could mold himself.

Don’t let that discourage you, Ben. Embiid has already put in work recruiting, and it can’t hurt to stay in LeBron’s ear with a big decision looming.