The Minnesota Timberwolves are allegedly hungry for Ben Simmons. Here are three deals the Wolves could make with the Sixers.
In some mildly shocking news, the Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as a potential top contender for Ben Simmons. It makes sense for a team desperate, not only for improvement but especially defensive improvement.
“I texted with someone that knows Ben Simmons incredibly well, that has working knowledge of all things NBA. My text was… ‘How badly do the Wolves want to trade for Ben Simmons?’ This individual sent me a text, it was one word, ‘Badly.’ Make no mistake, the Wolves have trade interest in Ben Simmons.”
You can hear more on Wolfson’s opinions on a Ben Simmons trade below.
If this is true, which would be understandable, the question begs to be asked, what could the Wolves offer?
DLO Trade #1
The obvious player-for-player swap is Ben Simmons for D’Angelo Russell but is that enough for Philadelphia? The answer is no. D’Angelo Russel has never truly made his team better. While the Timberwolves were a better scoring team with Russell on the court, the team’s defense suffered greatly with Russell in the lineup.
Simmons isn’t quite the scorer Russell is, but he does so many things at such a higher level than Russell. A one-for-one trade wouldn’t be close value for the Sixers, so the easiest way for the Wolves to make up the difference is by including draft capital.
The question remains, would Philly be interested in such a forward thinking deal?
DLO Trade #2
Again, D’Angelo Russell is the likely target in a deal with the Timberwolves, but the Sixers must have bigger eyes than just that. By including Hill and allowing the Wolves to keep their 2024 first-round pick, the Sixers are also able to acquire Malik Beasley and Naz Reid in the same deal.
Any deal for a player not named Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal is likely to be a disappointment, but if the Sixers find an opportunity to add two young scorers, a backup center, and a first-round pick, they’d be crazy not at least to consider it.
Again the Sixers likely could and should hold out for more, but if teams really have cooled on Simmons, this may end up being the best deal on the table.
The Three Team Sign-And-Trade
D’Angelo Russell may not inspire confidence in Sixers fans, and for good reason. He’s not exactly the “win-now” player the Sixers would want to add in a Simmons deal. The team would love the opportunity to have a more experienced lead guard, one like Kyle Lowry, for instance.
The Sixers would have an opportunity through a sign-and-trade to bring the Philly native home after years of speculation. In addition to their new lead guard, the Sixers would be able to add a young, high-volume scorer in Beasley and are able to add a backup center. The Sixers would also add the long-term asset of the Timberwolves unprotected 2024 first-round pick. There’d be some question as to if Toronto would prefer the 2024 pick over the 2022 pick, but the Sixers should consider this deal no matter which pick they would get.
While this deal is certainly the most complicated, it’s also likely the best-case scenario for the Timberwolves, who would have an impressive young core of Russell, Edwards, Simmons, and, of course, Karl-Anthony Towns. Simmons would hide the defensive deficiencies of Russell and Edwards while they and KAT can handle the scoring load. Likely, this is the image the Wolves imagine when they think of Ben Simmons.