The Sixers, who are weighing what changes to make to their roster this offseason, continue to insist they’re committed Ben Simmons for the long term. However, if the 76ers seriously explore a potential Simmons trade this offseason, the Timberwolves are among the teams expected to show interest, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North said on The Scoop (audio link).
“I texted with somebody that knows Ben Simmons incredibly well (and) has working knowledge of all things NBA,” Wolfson said. “My text the other day said, ‘How badly do the Wolves want to trade for Ben Simmons?’ This individual sent me a text back, it was one word: ‘Badly.’
“Make no mistake, the Wolves have trade interest in Ben Simmons,” Wolfson continued. “… (President of basketball operations) Gersson Rosas is going to show – or already has, going back many months – interest in Ben Simmons.”
As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports writes, the Wolves probably aren’t parting with Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Edwards in any deal this offseason. That would leave D’Angelo Russell as the likely centerpiece in any offer for Simmons. Alternatively, Minnesota could package Malik Beasley and Ricky Rubio in order to put together enough salary to match Simmons’ $33MM+ cap hit.
However, even if the Wolves were to add draft picks to their offers, it’s unclear how appealing those offers would be to Daryl Morey and the Sixers. Should the 76ers move their three-time All-Star, they’d want to make a deal that would improve the team’s chances of competing for a title in 2022, rather than one heavy on draft picks. Morey would likely aim higher than a package headed by Russell or Beasley/Rubio.
Still, it’s an interesting idea, particularly given the Wolves’ quest to add a power forward this summer. While Simmons has been considered a point guard for the majority of his NBA career, the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up is more than capable of guarding threes and fours, which would make him an intriguing fit in Minnesota.