Minnesota Timberwolves: More Ben Simmons reports continue to make noise

Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell defends Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell defends Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

We’re back here again, dealing with the slew of reports that state Ben Simmons is indeed a trade target for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The most recent comes courtesy of Real GM and off the back of John Krawczynski’s appearance on The Athletic’s NBA Show podcast.

"“In any trade for Simmons, the Wolves would also consider Anthony Edwards to be completely untouchable. The Wolves would prefer to keep D’Angelo Russell but are believed to be willing to trade him if necessary.” The Real GM report explains, as it alludes to the precarious situation the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in"

We’ve heard and read that segment before, and it’s no surprise that Philadelphia 76ers GM Daryl Morey is holding out for a superstar in return for Simmons. However, as pointed out on the NBA Show, Simmons’ value around the league is at its lowest ever point, so is a star-studded return even on the cards?

"“From a basketball perspective, and what complicates this, Simmons is at basically his lowest value since coming into the league right now, based on what happened in the post-season. So there’s this weird juxtaposition, wherefrom an emotional and off-court team perspective, maybe you don’t want him to come back because it makes things so uncomfortable.” The host continues to explore Simmons value and any potential return “The last taste in the rest of the leagues mouth right now, is seeing Simmons give up open dunks in the playoffs. And, just looking like a guy who was talented but even more flawed than people already thought, and they (the 76ers) needed to find some kind of way to recover that value and get people to think “Ok, he’s an All-Star again”."

Potential trade packages to get Simmons in a Timberwolves jersey have been floated around relentlessly throughout the summer. Still, with the knowledge that both Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are off the table, you have to hope Simmons’ low trade value becomes a deciding factor in any negotiations.

That trade value is an area of contention amongst fans, some of whom believe Simmons’ body of work previous to the playoffs should speak for itself, and others who think we saw an accurate representation of Simmons during the postseason. The topic of trade value was also discussed during the podcast episode;

"“The Wolves are bullish. They want to be at the head of this table. They know they don’t have the pieces to give Daryl Morey that are immediately going to help him win a championship. The hope is that maybe if Daryl Morey gets pressed into a corner, maybe he would take a draft pick heavy package from the Wolves and then use some of those picks later on down the line to go get a Damian Lillard or a Bradley Beal.” John Krawczynski said, when discussing a Minnesota trade for Simmons"

Whether Morey sees a potential Timberwolves’ package built around D’Angelo Russell and a bevy of draft picks enticing remains to be seen. However, the common consensus on both the reporting and the podcast episode is that Simmons’ value is at its floor, and without returning to NBA action with the 76ers, it’s not going to increase. Most would agree that the 76ers are entering “beggars can’t be choosers” territory, and the longer the front office holds out for a star trade, the more unlikely it projects to be.

Our own Ben Beecken explored reporting and the pitfalls of any Timberwolves negotiations last week if you’re looking to get a complete picture of the reporting and any potential trade discussions.

A Ben Simmons trade could rapidly propel the Timberwolves into the upper echelons of the Western Conference, and the front office seems besotted with a potential trade. The question now becomes whether Sachin Gupta feels empowered to broker a deal. As John Krawczynski pointed out in the podcast episode, “Even though he doesn’t have the interim tag, he knows he’s essentially an interim guy.” he then went on to elaborate further on the peculiar situation Gupta finds himself in.

"“Do you make the decisions you think is best for the organization or the one you think is going to get you the job? Because I do know ownership is very bullish on Ben Simmons. They are very intrigued by the idea of adding him Towns, Edwards…”"

We’re already closing in on the regular-season opener, with just a matter of weeks until the season gets underway. Morey may choose to stand pat until a favorable deal is placed on the table, but he can’t bank on getting his wish in this instance – especially if the 76ers fall flat out the gate. Undoubtedly, the Timberwolves will be there, waiting, with an offer in hand that could give Morey a different avenue to chase his second star to pair with Joel Embiid.

Obviously, all of this is conjecture at this point, and there’s no telling how this saga will eventually shake out. But with each passing week, we can at least feel satisfied that any potential Timberwolves offer becomes more enticing to a franchise that’s floundering for a way off the media hype train.