Ben Simmons trade, Minnesota Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards


The Ben Simmons trade saga has again taken another turn, with reports the superstar Australian is seriously considering sitting out the season unless the 76ers move him on.

Ever since the 76ers bowed out during last year’s playoff series, Simmons, who was heavily criticised for his side’s unsuccessful series against the Atlanta Hawks, has been pushing for a trade, with reports suggesting he would even be willing to buy himself out.

Simmons’ relationship with the 76ers to many appears irreparable which comes as no surprise considering his own coach, Doc Rivers, famously questioned the Australian’s ability to lead a championship-winning team by saying “I don’t know the answer to that.”

While it’s unclear what Philadelphia will do, who are yet to be wooed by any potential trade packages, it’s becoming clearer by the day that 25-year-old NBA All-Star will do anything possible to force himself out of Philadelphia

According to respected NBA reporter, Jon Krawczynski, who covers the Minnesota Timberwolves, Simmons is adamant about his approach to hold out on returning to pre-season training camp next month.

“It seems like [Simmons’ camp] are going to [hold out] and then it’s up to the Sixers to decide ‘OK, are we going to try and weather that storm and really stick to our guns and not let him bully us into a move’….and really try and dictate the terms or are they going to say ‘hey, look, we gotta take what we can get and move on because this is an untenable situation?'” Krawczynski told The Liberty Ballers Podcast ‘The Gastroenteritis Blues’.

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“…[Simmons] is a guy that is aware of the dynamics around him. He knows that Philly fans can’t wait to boo him on opening night …. but more so he knows that in the moment of truth in the playoffs his coach did not have his back and his star teammate kind of sort of a little bit threw him under the bus as well. And now maybe he deserves some of that criticism but that’s just the nature of it now. Those are the relationships that have been broken and he wants to go. I don’t think this is a bluff on his part. I don’t think that Klutch [Simmons’ management] is making idle threats.”

Recent reports have claimed that Simmons is targeting a trade to a Californian NBA team, but according to Krawczynski, the Australian would be willing to go to Minnesota.

Currently constructed, Minnesota is home to NBA stars Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell, with who Simmons is understood to have a close relationship.

The trio famously appeared in an iconic Foot Locker commercial back in 2016, which poked fun at Russell due to a phone controversy he had during his stint with the LA Lakers.

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“I think he (Simmons) would play in Minnesota. That’s my understanding. He is from the same high school as D’Angelo Russell …. he and [Karl Anthony-Towns] are friendly. He has those relationships,” Krawczynski said.

“[The potential trade] really has not much to do in terms of my belief that [76ers boss] Daryl Morey would reduce his asking price or that a deal is on the brink of happening, I don’t think we’re there at all.

“But I do think it has more to do with the circumstances of the market right now …. I think that the Wolves are the team that most want Ben Simmons …”

But whether a trade between Philadelphia and Minnesota goes ahead remains to be seen, with the Timberwolves playing hardball when it comes to last year’s No.1 draft pick, Anthony Edwards.

Big man Anthony-Towns is seen as the marquee player in Minnesota, which leaves Russell as the only remaining trade piece with high value. A trade involving Russell would be unlikely given he’s well known as the best friend of Towns, and was traded to the Timberwolves at the superstar power forward’s blessing.

“Honestly, a one-to-one Philly-to-Minnesota deal is harder to conceptualise because [76ers boss] Daryl Morey has asked for Anthony Edwards and that’s not happening. They wouldn’t do that straight up for Ben Simmons,” Krawczynski added.

“If Morey gives up the pursuit of another All-Star to come in immediately, like Damian Lillard isn’t coming right now, Bradley Beal isn’t coming right now, if they come to grips with that reality then maybe that opens up some possibilities for the Timberwolves that were not there otherwise.”

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