Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: More Ben Simmons talk, Naz Reid injury

The steam surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves interest in three-time All-Star Ben Simmons isn’t going away any time soon.

Also, days after Anthony Edwards sprained his ankle in a scrimmage between U.S. Select and Team U.S.A., the other Wolves participant came down with a minor injury.

Underscoring the Minnesota Timberwolves’ interest in Ben Simmons

Late last week, Dane Moore of The Dane Moore NBA Podcast reported not only confirmed interest from the Wolves, but that actual conversations have taken place between the Minnesota and Philadelphia front offices.

Perhaps there’s nothing of true substance here — after all, Dane reports that the negotiations are “not substantive” — but any time there’s confirmed conversations between two franchises, it’s notable.

Jon Krawczynski co-authored a piece with The Athletic’s salary cap guru, Danny Leroux, centered on the Wolves’ reported interest in Simmons and how the front office might. be able to make a deal work (subscription required).

The gist of the piece is that the easiest way for the Wolves to put a deal together is to build it around D’Angelo Russell’s salary, but that opens up two additional questions: A) are the Wolves willing to trade Russell, who remains Rosas’ signature move to this point and is Karl-Anthony Towns’ close friend, and B) are the 76ers interested in Russell on a max contract.

The alternative is a combination of Malik Beasley and Ricky Rubio’s expiring contract, which won’t be enough for a Sixers team that wants to maintain its status as an Eastern Conference contender.

This is where the possibility of a third team comes into play. Could a sign-and-trade be in play, possibly with of a player like Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, or another veteran point guard heading to Philadelphia? Yours truly covered this a couple of weeks ago, and it remains a distinct possibility.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Naz Reid suffers minor injury

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Wolves big man Naz Reid is one of seven players on the U.S. Select team to miss practice at the end of last week due to injury or COVID-19 protocols.

Reid’s injury is listed as minor by Windhorst. We’ve heard the same thing about Edwards’ sprained ankle, suffered in the middle of last week.

A handful of Select players were called up to Team U.S.A. to be on the active roster for the exhibition game versus Nigeria. It’s fair to wonder whether a healthy Edwards may have been included in the call-ups. Instead, they went to Detroit’s Saddiq Bey, Cleveland’s Darius Garland, and San Antonio’s Keldon Johnson.

We’ll keep tabs on any new developments on the Olympic front in the coming days as the U.S.A., Argentina, Spain, and Nigeria — all countries with Wolves representation — gear up for the Tokyo games.