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One team that's been involved in the Ben Simmons sweepstakes since the early stages is the Minnesota Timberwolves. When the Philadelphia 76ers started taking calls regarding a Simmons trade, the Timberwolves were one of the top suitors.

However, Minnesota wants to land Simmons to pair him up with Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D'Angelo Russell. They reportedly don't want to part ways with one of the three to replace them with Simmons.

As expected, that halted trade discussions between the Sixers and the Wolves. And over the last couple of months, the Timberwolves slowly faded out of the conversation. Meanwhile, new teams entered the Simmons sweepstakes.

Lately, the Atlanta Hawks became a serious suitor as they reportedly discussed a deal centered around John Collins. As Philadelphia is reportedly interested in the veteran power forward, it seemed there could be legs on a Collins-centric package for a package centered around Simmons. However, talks halted when the Sixers reportedly put Tobias Harris' contract on the table.

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At this point, the likelihood of Simmons getting traded before the deadline continues to decrease. As the Sixers keep their asking price sky-high, teams either don't have it what it takes to land Simmons -- or they simply aren't willing to meet the price.

Outside of the Sacramento Kings, who reportedly exited trade talks with the Sixers recently, it's unclear which Simmons suitors still exist. ESPN's NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned there are teams interested, but not a lot are willing to even engage in talks with Daryl Morey and Philly's front office right now.

Which Teams are Still Optimistic?

"I think there are teams like Atlanta, they have certainly interest in him there," said Wojnarowski. "There are a number of others. Minnesota has interest, but is there a pathway to a deal? I think that's the hard part for the Sixers right now is how far are they going to have to lower their asking price to get a deal done at the deadline."

The market isn't dry for Ben Simmons. The price is just too steep for teams' desires. It seems the Timberwolves, Hawks, and potentially others will remain in the conversation up until the deadline in hopes that something changes, but nobody should be holding their breath.

Not only has Daryl Morey mentioned on numerous occasions that keeping Simmons through the deadline is a real possibility -- Sixers' ownership and players are on board with the front office's strategy, per Wojnarowski. Anything can happen in the coming weeks, but a Simmons deal still seems far-fetched right now.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.