If Wolves Trade Karl Towns, They Should (Again) Target Ben Simmons

AP Photo: Matt Rourke

Minnesota Timberwolves star big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, has been the subject of some early season NBA trade rumors over the last week. The Wolves started the year 4-1 and played with a tenacity we hadn’t seen since Jimmy Butler was hanging around town. But since, his team’s play has fallen off a cliff and the losses, now sitting at 5-straight, have piled in.

Then last week, KAT, or “someone else”, liked a Tweet with the hashtag, #FreeKAT, sending the fanbase into an emotional tailspin. So much so that Towns took to Twitter and claimed his account had been hacked and he had changed his password to stop it from happening again. Sure…

If the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to lose games, the rumors and whispers surrounding Towns are only going to get louder. With new owners entering the fray, is it possible that the Wolves organization decides they’re better off hitting the reset button now, than waiting for Karl’s reign to fall off the tracks completely. It’s becoming clear that building around him hasn’t worked and probably never will.

IF it’s time to move on…

Look, the Timberwolves aren’t moving Karl-Anthony Towns tomorrow. But their season is already 10% over and, if this is the “same old Wolves, it won’t take long for the higher-ups to see that hopes are dead. The trade deadline is still three months away (February 10). By then, we’ll know what Minnesota is capable of.

And sometime before then, the Ben Simmons’ rumor mill will turn up. If the Minnesota Timberwolves decide to move on from KAT, it’s unlikely they’ll get a better player in return than Ben Simmons. The Philadephia 76ers, however, employ Joel Embiid, who doesn’t have the greatest history with Towns. Because of that, it could take three teams to deal Karl for Ben.

Well, NBA Analysis Network came up with a solution that seems to suit all involved. The 3rd team is Golden State, who makes a lot of sense. But they wouldn’t be the only team interested in snagging KAT out of a three-team deal that lands Simmons to the Timberwolves.

Created using the Fanspo NBA Trade Machine

The Ben Simmons drama in Philly has drug on for months and the Sixers desperately need a conclusion for their franchise to move forward. The Timberwolves are in year seven with Karl-Anthony Towns and are trending towards another disastrous season. The Golden State Warriors are 9-1 and have an open window to win another championship but they’re missing a front court piece to pair with Steph Curry and, eventually, Klay Thompson.

Who says no?

As of today, November 9, 2021, neither the Timberwolves or 76ers would seriously consider the trade package you see above. But if, as the trade deadline approaches, Minnesota is destined for the lottery again and Ben Simmons still needs a new home, a deal like what you see above could look much more realistic and make a lot of sense.

Right now, the Sixers asking price for Simmons is too high. And with all of the drama unfolding daily, he continues to lose value. Philadelphia GM, Daryl Morey, will eventually have to lower expectations on his Simmons return package as spring approaches.

Maybe the third team is Golden State, maybe it’s someone else. That’s not the point. We’ve seen Ben Simmons to Minnesota rumors or trade proposals for months. Until NBAAnalysis.net did it in this blog, Nobody has seriously considered Karl-Anthony Towns as part of the trade package the Wolves would ship out to land Simmons.

If the Minnesota Timberwolves decide to move on from KAT, they need to avoid the superstar trades of their past. They cannot let Karl go for Kevin Garnett or Jimmy Butler type compensation. Those two botched trades are exactly why the Wolves still sit in the bottom class of the NBA.

Too Early to Deal Towns?

Ben Simmons would be the ultimate haul for a team being forced to trade a superstar. Not very often can you trade one top-25 player for another and Glen Taylor knows that better than anyone. Say all you want about Ben Simmons’ deficiencies but he’s the same level of player.

Again, Towns isn’t getting traded tomorrow or even before the calendar turns over to 2022. The organization will let this play out for a couple more months, at least. But in year seven, if yet another season spirals out of control, I can promise the Timberwolves front office and new ownership will consider all options, including a blockbuster deal that sends Towns elsewhere.

Towns only has 2 years remaining on his contract, after 2021-22. If the Minnesota Timberwolves want top value for Kat’s services, they need to move him before this year’s trade deadline. KAT’s value will start declining by the offseason, just based on the term he has remaining.

If the 2021-22 season continues down a path of disappointment, trade consideration wouldn’t just be reasonable, but necessary. And if the Wolves front office decides to move on from Towns, it’s difficult to imagine a better piece in return than a package including Ben Simmons. If that means dealing a litter earlier than others are willing, so be it.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan