The Philadelphia 76ers traded Ben Simmons to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, and now it’s time for him to make his NBA debut. But what will happen next?
Ben Simmons’ Dramatic Trade Saga May Finally Be Leading Him to His Ultimate Destination. The Philadelphia 76ers have been trying to trade their star player for a while now, but the team has yet to find a suitor. Now it seems that they are finally getting some traction on the market and may be able to move him before the deadline.
Every day, it seems like something new happens in the Ben Simmons story. The Sixers’ unhappy player and Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey are now locked in a stalemate. Morey refuses to sell Simmons until he receives the value he wants in a trade, but the former LSU star remains adamant in his resolve to never play for the club again, at least for the time being.
However, every new piece of information that becomes public seems to rule out another option for the organization’s previous No. 1 overall selection. All indications now seem to point to one Ben Simmons location in particular.
The 76ers want to trade Simmons to a Western Conference club, according to reports.
During the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers responds to Joel Embiid. Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox
According to a report from USA Today, the Sixers would like to move Ben Simmons to the Western Conference if they eventually make a Ben Simmons deal.
That reasoning makes sense; why deal a former franchise player to a club you’ll see numerous times during the season?
So, by elimination, the three-time all-star claimed he wanted to go to California at first. The Los Angeles Lakers have made a play for Russell Westbrook, but the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, who would be a poor on-court match for Simmons anyhow, aren’t interested.
The New Orleans Pelicans may be intrigued if they want to make a splash in order to appease Zion Williamson, but the on-court fit isn’t ideal either, and it might do more damage than good. The Dallas Mavericks are in the same boat. The Denver Nuggets just extended Michael Porter Jr., so their big three of Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Porter seems to be complete.
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a full rebuild and will want to acquire as much playing time as possible for their young players. The Phoenix Suns, who feature Chris Paul as point guard, reached the NBA Finals last season.
There are a few other options out west, but all the signs appear to go to one brand in particular.
Simmons has a strong probability of joining the Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to @BetMGM, the current odds to land Ben Simmons are:
Sacramento Kings +650; Minnesota Timberwolves +400; Houston Rockets +450; Minnesota Timberwolves +400
What do you think the three-time All-Star will do next? pic.twitter.com/NCckQOUrzT
September 21, 2021 — The Athletic (@TheAthletic)
The Minnesota Timberwolves seem to fulfill all of Ben Simmons’ requirements for a new team. They are members of the Western Conference. They’re eager to make the playoffs. In Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 draft, they have young talents to build around.
The Wolves recently dismissed Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations and replaced him with Sachin Gupta. Gupta is known to have a soft spot for Simmons, having worked in the Philadelphia front office when the club selected him in the first round. Now that he’s taken over the franchise, he may want to make a huge statement.
Simmons also meshes well with the rest of the team’s roster, which isn’t often the case. He can be a total blank on offense and is a terrible outside shooter. Towns’ ability to stretch the floor and play on the perimeter like a big man, along with Edwards’ agility and growing offensive game, suggests that the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year may be the team’s starting point guard right away.
The 25-year-old, who stands 6-foot-11 and has long arms and fast feet, would instantly become Minnesota’s top defender, a position in which the team has battled for years.
The most difficult part of reaching an agreement is giving Morey what he wants in return. Philadelphia’s GM will expect a lot as a well-known obstinate trade partner. The Timberwolves would almost certainly make D’Angelo Russell the centerpiece of any deal. Josh Okogie, like Jaden McDaniels, is a promising young talent. As an experienced point guard for the 76ers, Patrick Beverley might be appealing.
All of the T-Wolves’ future first-round selections are likewise theirs.
Minnesota may be the club willing to make a big deal.
Ben Simmons, for example, may arrive in a position where he can compete. However, I’m not sure how the math works with those locations. Minnesota Timberwolves supporters would adore him and offer him the opportunity to rebuild his career with a dynamic and skilled young team. There’s something to be said about it.
September 21, 2021 — Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN)
Since Kevin Garnett was moved to the Boston Celtics, the Timberwolves haven’t had much success as a team. Towns is the team’s cornerstone, but Minnesota has only reached the playoffs once since drafting the Kentucky product first overall in 2015.
Landing Simmons would be the best option for Gupta to have an instant effect. If Minnesota’s new VP of basketball operations is desperate enough, Morey may be able to persuade Gupta to give up more than any other club.
If or when Philadelphia chooses to split ways with Simmons, more clubs will be on the table. But, for the time being, all indications appear to point to Minnesota as his final destination.
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