Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 potential Malik Beasley trades

Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Ben Simmons, Malik Beasley
Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends against Ben Simmons. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves: Trading Malik Beasley for Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons is the name on every GM’s mind after his disastrous play in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Atlanta. The 6-foot-10 Aussie point guard is a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive team selection at just 24 years old.

He was a specter of himself in the seven-game loss to the Hawks, averaging just 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game while shooting a playoff record-low 33 percent from the free throw line. The former first-overall pick in 2016 only took three fourth-quarter shots combined in the seven-game series and didn’t even hoist a shot in the final frame of five of seven games.

The process in Philadelphia seems to be over, and 76ers GM Daryl Morey will likely look to move on from Sam Hinkie’s failed experiment this offseason and rebuild the roster around MVP runner-up Joel Embiid.

Even though Simmons is NBA Twitter’s enemy No. 1 at the moment, when things calm down it will still take a sizable package to pry Simmons away from Philly. A package of Beasley, rookie building block Jaden McDaniels, and Ricky Rubio with likely a future first-round pick should get Morey’s attention.

Some on the Wolves side of things might cringe at the thought of parting with McDaniels after showing a promising two-way game as a 20-year-old, but Simmons would be an immediate upgrade. He’s the best perimeter defender in the league and is fast and strong enough to guard every position, 1 through 5.

On the offensive end, Towns provides an optimal partner with Simmons, a big man who can stretch the floor and open up driving lanes for Simmons and Edwards. Big Ben is still an elite playmaker who can let the offense flow through him and find Towns, Ant, and D’Lo orbiting around him.

The biggest issue will always be his shooting. Simmons is just 5-for-34 (14.7 percent) from three in his four-year career. He and Ant are negative shooters, leaving just Towns and Russell as the only reliable 3-point shooters left on the roster.

However, the pros probably outweigh the cons for the Wolves. It’s hard to imagine a big four of Towns/Edwards/D’Lo/Simmons not competing for a top-six seed in the Western Conference.