Ben Simmons may be available this offseason, and the Minnesota Timberwolves look ready to make an offer.
After his abysmal playoff showing, the Philadelphia 76ers may decide it’s time to trade Ben Simmons this offseason. His flaws are clear, but so are his strengths, so there will be multiple suitors and teams have surely already called. On that front, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News and SKOR North has reported the Minnesota Timberwolves “badly” want to trade for Simmons.
“I texted with somebody that knows Ben Simmons incredibly well (and) has working knowledge of all things NBA,” Wolfson said. “My text the other day said, ‘How badly do the Wolves want to trade for Ben Simmons?’ This individual sent me a text back, it was one word: ‘Badly.’
“Make no mistake, the Wolves have trade interest in Ben Simmons,” Wolfson continued. “… (President of basketball operations) Gersson Rosas is going to show – or already has, going back many months – interest in Ben Simmons.”
What could the Timberwolves offer for Ben Simmons?
Simmons prowess on the defensive end and the ability to guard multiple positions, is a great fit for the Timberwolves, who have legitimately been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA over the last couple seasons. His ability in transition offensively would also fit nicely on a Minnesota team that played at the fifth-fastest pace in the league last year.
The question is what the Timberwolves would offer for Simmons. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are untouchable, so the conversation starts with D’Angelo Russell. Not having their first-round pick this year hurts, but Philadelphia surely wants to remain competitive if they move on from Simmons and thus they may not be all that interested in draft picks. Russell would be the much-needed offensive creator Simmons is not for the 76ers, but with an obvious major downgrade defensively.
A 1-for-1 deal sending Russell to Philadelphia for Simmons works. Minnesota can also match Simmons’ salary by offering Malik Beasley and Ricky Rubio. Younger players like Josh Okogie and Jarett Culver could be part of an offer from the Timberwolves, as could Jake Layman. If none of that sounds exciting as the return for Simmons, 76ers president Daryl Morey probably agrees.
As an added piece of the equation Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, surely wouldn’t be too keen on his client being traded to Minnesota. But the Timberwolves seem ready to enter the fray, and no team with interest in Simmons can be ruled out at this point.