NBA trade rumors: The Minnesota Timberwolves “will join” Ben Simmons, but is it appropriate?


The Minnesota Timberwolves have been linked to Ben Simmons Previous report According to a new report by Jon Krawczynski from the Midwest, as the market unfolds during this offseason, it is said that people outside the Midwest are “in Simmons.” Games.

Krawczynski is very reliable in Minnesota affairs. He has the following views on the interests of the Timberwolves:

Many discussions among Wolves fans focused on Ben Simmons. The All-Star played well in the Philadelphia playoffs, which led to widespread speculation that Darryl Morey will have to split the core of Joel Embiid-Simmons in an attempt to reconfigure the lineup and overcome difficulties. .

The Timberwolves are proud to participate in trade negotiations. Sources said that in addition to some other players, they will also participate in the Western Conference playoffs with Simmons. [The Athletic]

This has been teased in previous reports, but from Krawczynski, it adds some extra weight. On the surface, Simmons’s position in the heart of Minnesota makes a lot of sense. Carl Anthony Towns is more suitable for Simmons than Joel Embiid. He is satisfied and can open up space for others from the three-pointer. The current core of the Wolves is full of offensive weapons and needs someone to do the defensive burden. . In their ecosystem, someone with Simmons’ defensive versatility can have a huge impact, and when surrounded by shooters, his offensive weaknesses can be better hidden.

This is the other end of the transaction, and things get very dangerous. Because of the existence of Joel Embiid (they will use Simmons to play with Downs in the first place), it is not an option for Philadelphia to acquire Downs in any way, and Anthony Edwards will almost certainly not be in any In all cases, the deal is at the negotiating table after the rookie season is close to the first overall pick. This makes D’Angelo Russell a potential core player. For various reasons, if Simmons is sent away this offseason, he will be a very mediocre returning player.

Although Russell is not without his merits. In addition to pick-and-roll ability, he also has the three-level scoring ability that the 76ers lack, but the 25-year-old is still a more influential player in theory than in practice. Russell just ended his best season ever in the 2020-21 season. With nearly 7.5 shots per game, his field goal percentage is almost 39%, but his career is only slightly higher. On average, he has high expectations for offense when he enters the league. Some of this can be attributed to shot selection and playing style. Russell comfortably covers his face with his hands and shoots, which is often bad for him, and in the past four seasons, his usage rate is very high, reflecting the label of “a lot of scorers”. His only All-Star season in the 2018-19 season was a direct product of being forced to feed the ball. Russell than LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard and other stars More control over the ball, but not close to being on par with their opponents. effectiveness.

Even if we admit that Russell still has an offensive advantage and can make Joel Embiid’s life easier, even if he stagnates from here, there are other issues to consider. Russell has always been a bad offensive point defender. Although his wingspan can reliably defend multiple positions, his hard work and instinct have been hindering his entire career. For most of his career, he has also encountered the problem of staying healthy-Russell played 81 games in the aforementioned 2018-19 All-Star Game, which is his only appearance since 2017 Over 50 seasons. Since entering the league, in addition to various soft tissue injuries of the lower body, his left knee has also undergone many arthroscopic surgeries. Even if the 76ers are convinced that he will open up for them on the offensive end, building around Embiid and Russell will be dangerous.

From the sound of things, even he Probably not available, at least if you ask Krawczynski:

In Minnesota, although the Wolves definitely need Simmons to make more than zero shots in the fourth quarter, they don’t need him to be the second choice on the offensive end. Carl Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell (sources say the Timberwolves regard Russell as part of the core and want to maintain this status) to coach Chris Finch three An accomplished offensive player, let them score on the offensive end. This will allow Simmons to free up time to do what he does best: defend every position on the court as the Wolves need him to do, and then leave during the transition. This will fit what Roses and Vinci want to play. the way.

It’s unclear whether Morey will be interested in Russell’s headlines in the Simmons bag. Although Russell looks good, but the highest salary will stop some teams. On the other hand, Russell is Rosas’s signature move on this point. With the end of the season, he and Towns began to show some hopeful signs, and Rosas believes that a full training camp will help the pair take things up to the point after working all summer at the helm of Vinci. Another level. [The Athletic]

Admittedly, these are things you will hear from most reporters who have contact with the team. In more results, the Wolves will find themselves unable to acquire Simmons, and they certainly hope to ensure they retain a better player and make them happy by making Russell feel needed.

Nevertheless, once you pass there, it is very ugly. The 76ers are not desperate enough to trade Simmons anywhere. They will send Simmons to packages centered on role players such as Ricky Rubio and Malik Beasley. There is a package mentioned in the above article, and The Wolves’ draft situation further complicates matters. Because of Russell’s exchange with Andrew Wiggins, they did not first own their 2021 (ranked 8th overall), which left them shorting a valuable asset that could theoretically be used to make a multi-team deal for Philadelphia. Even in the extremely unlikely situation that the Wolves put Edwards on the court-I will reiterate, I don’t think this will happen in the short to medium term-he is more valuable as a bargaining chip and can be re-arranged to the third The star of the team is still a few years away from becoming a trusted partner. Embiid now needs to try to compete.

This illustrates a major problem in the Simmons trading market. Teams who want to watch the playoffs from the outside are more motivated to reach a deal with Simmons. Simmons’ regular season performance is undeniable. The worries of the playoffs will be welcomed in a market that they rarely reach in the first place. But teams like this, teams like Wolves, they are willing or unable to afford to give up very little to help the 76ers win the present. Since Simmons is suitable for leading the package for a legitimate star that is more questionable than ever, it seems quite difficult to find suitable candidates for both sides.

Perhaps the further distance from the second round of the Philadelphia crash will change things, and all that is needed is a major transaction request elsewhere for a major shift in market dynamics. But unless a team like Minnesota really raises the stakes in the weeks leading up to the draft, I suspect that the waiting game will continue and the likelihood of Simmons staying in Philadelphia will only increase.


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