How the Minnesota Timberwolves could trade for Ben Simmons

Despite Gersson Rosas's firing, the Minnesota Timberwolves should still be chasing Ben Simmons. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Despite Gersson Rosas's firing, the Minnesota Timberwolves should still be chasing Ben Simmons. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ season has been nothing short of disastrous to this point, but a move for a young All-Star would shift the Wolves’ fortunes in short order.

Ben Simmons would make for an intriguing fit for the Timberwolves, but do they have the pieces to make it happen?

Exploring a Ben Simmons trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves

After a promising 2-0 start, the season has taken a swift downward spiral, largely in part due to the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns, who has missed significant time with both injury and illness.

But the Timberwolves’ problems stem beyond their star center. The team is plagued by a cap-heavy point guard pairing in D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio that frankly, does not work. The two guards have shown they cannot share the floor effectively, which has handicapped the Wolves in end-of-game situations.

Additionally, Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, hasn’t quite had the immediate impact that the Wolves had hoped for, shooting just 34.7 percent from the field and 27.2 percent from the field through 15 games. This is one major symptom of Ryan Saunders not getting the best out of his players this season.

Beyond the backcourt problems, the team has lacked competency at the power forward position, particularly from their preseason projected contributors Juancho Hernangomez and Jake Layman. Though Jaden McDaniels and Jarred Vanderbilt have been nice surprises for the Wolves at the 4, both are early in their development and can’t yet be counted on for heavy NBA minutes — not to mention the foul trouble that Vanderbilt has often found himself in.

The Wolves’ weakness at power forward has cost them immensely in terms of rebounding and defense.

One potential solution to the Wolves’ guard and forward problems would be to acquire a player with elite size and guard skills — one who can rebound, defend, and distribute. Though this combo is hard to find, options exist in today’s NBA to fill the Wolves’ void, and the best of these options would be Ben Simmons.

Simmons would be an intriguing fit alongside KAT and D’Lo, assuming the Wolves could keep Russell in a trade for Simmons. Simmons would provide a unique solution to the Wolves’ power forward problem with his elite size, ability to guard all five positions, and rebounding. Simmons could also provide a unique solution to the Wolves guard struggles as a shot creator and distributor that would be a tough matchup for most players in the NBA.

Though it’s unclear how willing the 76ers would be to part with Simmons, the James Harden trade rumors made it abundantly clear that Simmons is available for trade, as he was offered in multiple packages to Houston in exchange for Harden. The Wolves front office should take these rumors as a signal that Simmons is attainable.

Acquiring Simmons could have varying degrees of difficulty depending on whether or not the 76ers would be interested in Russell. For the Wolves, hypothetically, the ideal situation would be to acquire Simmons without losing Russell and Towns.

Let’s take a look at the best possible deal that the Wolves could offer Philadelphia without including a third team.