We’re going to be hearing a lot of Ben Simmons trade rumors and potential destinations after the Philadelphia 76ers star bombed out in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Simmons’ reps just met with the 76ers’ brass in a chat that included trade talks.
One potential destination that has come up are the Minnesota Timberwolves. Without a first-round pick this year, the long-downtrodden organization will look to the trade market to upgrade a talented young roster. Below, we look at three ideal Ben Simmons trade scenarios to the Twin Cities.
Ben Simmons trade for D’Angelo Russell
- Timberwolves get: Ben Simmons, George Hill
- 76ers get: D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, future first-round pick
This specific trade makes a ton of sense from Philadelphia’s perspective. Despite his reputation as a highly overrated entity, Russell boasts much more perimeter ability than Simmons and is competent running an offense. Last season for Minnesota, the still-young 25-year-old guard averaged 19.0 points and 5.8 assists on a stellar 39% shooting from distance. As for the 24-year-old Beasley, he averaged nearly 20 points on 40% shooting from distance. Sure there’s some legal concerns relating to Beasley, but teaming him up with Russell and Joel Embiid would be a huge win for Philadelphia.
Minnesota’s roster construct is interesting. Does the team build around NBA Rookie of the Year finalist Anthony Edwards and the aforementioned Russell? Perhaps, continuing to build around stud big man Karl-Anthony Towns could also make some sense. In this scenario, Simmons takes over for Russell as the distributor on offense while adding much more on the defensive end. He should help Edwards get more open looks, improving the youngster’s shooting efficiency in the process. It’s an interesting potential fit.
Ben Simmons trade for Karl-Anthony Towns
- Timberwolves get: Ben Simmons, Shake Milton
- 76ers get: Karl-Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley
There’s another scenario in play that suggests Minnesota might want to move off a defensive liability in Towns and bring in Simmons to upgrade in that area. This scenario includes Wolves front office head Gersson Rosas coming to the conclusion that the three-time All-Star is better suited to play a traditional power forward role. Think Draymond Green with more skill and upside. Minnesota also adds a Sixth Man option in Milton who is capable of going off for 20 on any given night.
The fit in Philadelphia would be somewhat weird with Embiid and Towns. With that said, both have been able to expand their games to the perimeter. This doesn’t necessarily run contrary to the modern NBA, especially with the addition of Beasley and presence of Tobias Harris in Philadelphia. If the 76ers are able to add a true starter-caliber point guard, this becomes a championship-contending starting five.
Ben Simmons to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade
Three-team deals have a way of being complicated in today’s NBA landscape. However, they also help facilitate moves that can be beneficial to the two pain players in said trade. Here, that’s the Timberwolves focusing on landing Ben Simmons and Philadelphia attempting to find a true No. 2 option behind Embiid. Here are the details.
- Timberwolves get: Ben Simmons
- 76ers get: Kemba Walker, Malik Beasley, first-round pick from Minnesota
- Thunder get: George Hill, Ricky Rubio, Jarrett Culver, first-round pick from Minnesota
Get all of that? It might seem a bit complicated, but it makes sense for all three teams. Minnesota lands Simmons without having to part ways with either Russell or Towns. A core four including those two and the combination of Simmons and Edwards would be exceptional. From Oklahoma City’s perspective, Sam Presti adds yet another first-round pick for a player he just acquired in Kemba Walker. Why the heck not?
This also works for the 76ers. They get a completely new backcourt with a former All-Star in Walker running the ship and a potential 20-point scorer in Beasley who is aces from the perimeter. Add in another first-round pick from Minnesota, and Morey would be given flexibility to change things up if that backcourt tandem doesn’t work.