The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a bit of an odd limbo when it comes to the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline. Will they make a major move, or just stand pat? Let’s look at the latest rumors.
Trade Deadline: Latest on Timberwolves rumors, including Simmons and Turner
The 2022 NBA Trade Deadline is less than a month away, and it’s been months since the Timberwolves have been mentioned frequently in trade rumors.
Remember the late summer/early fall, when the Wolves were consistently mentioned as suitors for Ben Simmons? Or further back, when Myles Turner and John Collins were all the rage?
Since roughly the time that former president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was relieved of his duties, the Timberwolves have not been on the tip of anyone’s tongue when it comes to teams ready to participate in major trade talks.
But deadlines force deals, and we’re inching closer to the magic Feb. 10 date.
The Timberwolves are still trying to acquire Ben Simmons
Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise, but the Timberwolves are reportedly still engaged with the Philadelphia 76ers regarding disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons.
The first report of the week came from The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required), who simply mentioned the Timberwolves in passing as one of the teams still interested in Simmons, along with the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and Indiana Pacers.
What do all those teams have in common? A couple of things. First of all, they’re all worse than the Wolves, for whatever that’s worth. The other is that they’re all small-market teams, with the exception of Atlanta, although the “not a typical free agent destination” thing rings true for the Hawks, too.
Those types of franchises were always the most likely to pony up for a somewhat controversial star in Simmons, so this particular list of teams is not necessarily surprising.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst spoke with Darren Wolfson on The Scoop with Doogie podcast earlier this week and confirmed the Wolves’ interest, noting that the Wolves have offered virtually every possible combination of players and draft picks without including Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick published an article on Wednesday (subscription required), running through all of the rumored suitors for Simmnons. He leaned on Jon Krawczynski for some Wolves input, and Jon said that the Wolves are interested but won’t trade Edwards or Towns — which basically means that a third team would have to be involved.
Amick chimed in with the note that rival executives don’t think the Wolves will make any other trades until the Simmons saga is resolved, or unless they’re told that they’re out of the running.
So, it’s a no-update update, really, other than to confirm that the Wolves remain interested and engaged with the Sixers.
The Timberwolves have talked to the Indiana Pacers about Myles Turner
On the aforementioned/linked Scoop podcast from Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and KSTP, Wolfson also notes that the Wolves have indeed talked to the Pacers about big man Myles Turner.
Turner, of course, is another name that the Wolves have reportedly been interested in for some time now.
As noted in the above link, Turner would be a perfect fit for the WOlves, filling a clear need. At the same time, Minnesota is surely less desperate to acquire Turner at the moment than they may have been several weeks ago due to the emergence of Jarred Vanderbilt.
Still, a four-man frontcourt rotation of Towns, Turner, Vanderbilt, and Naz Reid would be one of the league’s best.
Crafting a trade for Turner won’t be painless, and would surely cost Jaden McDaniels, a draft pick or two, and probably Malik Beasley in order to make the salaries match. The emergence of Jaylen Nowell makes the loss of Beasley more than palatable, but Beasley’s struggles this season would surely cause the Pacers to pause.
If the Wolves could trade McDaniels, Beasley, and a pair of picks for Turner, it would be an absolute slam dunk. Turner still has one more year on his deal, so the Wolves would have the chance to run it back next year as they decide what to do with both him and D’Angelo Russell prior to the summer of 2023, when they would both become free agents.
We’ll keep an eye on any potential developments on the trade front, but expect Turner to be a name that comes up again.