As the NBA nears the start of the 2021/22 season, tensions continue to simmer between All-Star Ben Simmons and his current team, the Sixers. Philadelphia is hoping to deal Simmons for win-now assets, while Simmons, despite having four years left on his current contract, has threatened to not report for training camp and beyond if he is not moved. The more the two sides’ stalemate drags on, the better the Timberwolves‘ odds are of swooping in to deal for the former No. 1 lottery pick, posits Michael Rand of the Star Tribune.
Rand wonders if adding Simmons could be the move Minnesota needs to return to the playoffs for the first time since the team’s lone full Jimmy Butler season, 2017/18. Rand thinks the Timberwolves should be ready to offer anyone not named Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony Towns in exchange for Simmons.
A year ago, the Sixers would most likely have even balked at an offer for Edwards or Towns, though that has changed now as Simmons’ value has declined following a disastrous postseason performance on offense. Simmons, a great defender and passer, could be an ideal fit for a hyper-athletic wing like Edwards and a jump-shooting center like Towns. The Timberwolves could be an excellent landing spot for Simmons, but whether or not they have enough to offer in return for the All-Defensive First Teamer without including Edwards or Towns remains to be seen.
- The Timberwolves managed to avoid the NBA’s luxury tax this summer while still retaining Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin, two promising young players on affordable three-year contracts, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The 22-year-old Vanderbilt looks ready to take next steps at the power forward position, where he should see significant run, along with the newly-acquired Taurean Prince. Krawczynski notes that the 6’9″ Vanderbilt should especially help the club with rebounding, and could even be given the nod as the team’s starting power forward heading into the year.