Minnesota Timberwolves: Another report confirms Wolves still in the Simmons mix

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

In case there’s any insecurity among Minnesota Timberwolves fans about their squad still trying to acquire Ben Simmons … well, there shouldn’t be.

A pair of new reports confirm the Wolves’ continued interest, despite the recent front office change.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Another report confirms Wolves still in Simmons mix

The Timberwolves have been in touch with the Philadelphia 76ers for virtually the entire offseason in an attempt to land disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons.

With the firing of Gersson Rosas less than two weeks ago, it was fair to wonder whether or not the Wolves were still truly in the mix for Simmons.

First, ESPN’s Bobby Marks suggested that the Wolves still belonged in the top tier of Simmons suitors, along with five other teams. Now, a pair of local reporters, one from Philadelphia and one from the Twin Cities, have confirmed that the Wolves are still actively engaged with the Sixers.

First, Darren Wolfson of KSTP and SKOR North reports that new president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta has reached out to touch base with Daryl Morey and the Sixers front office.

The third team issue is a refrain that we keep hearing, surely because the Sixers are not enthused by the idea of taking on D’Angelo Russell‘s max contract and taking back several first-round picks.

Picks are less attractive in this transaction, of course, because the Sixers were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last year and want to maintain their championship aspirations despite jettisoning Simmons. Additionally, the Wolves would be a clear playoff team with a core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Simmons, and said picks would immediately become less valuable.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer lists six teams as still engaged on Simmons in recent days: the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs, and the Wolves.

Interestingly, that list does not include the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, two Western Conference teams who have often been linked to a Simmons deal.

One other note from Pompey’s piece is the Dec. 15 deadline potentially coming into play. That’s the date at which many of the offseason’s free-agent acquisitions are trade-eligible. Interestingly, that date is irrelevant for the Wolves, who don’t have any players that suddenly become available on that date; Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin both become trade-eligible on Jan. 15.

Once again, the common thread among the six teams listed above (or eight, if we want to include Portland and Sacramento), is that they’re all franchises often considered to operate as “small market” teams. Or, perhaps more accurately, they’re all cities that don’t tend to draw stars via free agency. (Toronto is a huge city and Detroit and Minneapolis are both top-15 markets in the United States, after all.)

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If nothing else, at least we know that the Wolves are still very much involved in conversations for Simmons, and they’ll no doubt continue to stay busy right up until the young star is eventually traded.