The Minnesota Timberwolves have been consistently linked to Ben Simmons this offseason. As the Sixers are willing to part ways with their 25-year-old three-time All-Star, Minnesota is looking to add Simmons into the mix as he'd immediately boost their chances of becoming Western Conference playoff contenders.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, they are going to have a tough time landing Simmons as they don't want to part ways with key members of their organization.
Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey wants an All-Star caliber player in return for Simmons. Minnesota possesses Karl Anthony-Towns, who made it to the showcase twice in his career. In addition to Towns, the Timberwolves also have D'Angelo Russell, who made it as an All-Star during the 2019 season when he was with the Brooklyn Nets.
And although former Georgia standout Anthony Edwards isn't an NBA All-Star, the former No. 1 overall pick showed some solid flashes during his first NBA season, and he earned the right to be called the Rookie of the Year.
Minnesota has talent on board, which could interest the 76ers, but according to The Athletic's Timberwolves reporter Jon Krawczynski, Minnesota has slapped an untouchable patch on two of the three players mentioned above.
"The Sixers want a premium for (Ben Simmons), someone that can help them right away," Krawczynski said on his podcast. "But the Timberwolves don’t want to trade Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony towns. Those are those are deal-breakers."
Minnesota's unwillingness to include Towns or Edwards in a trade is far from surprising. Ever since he's entered the league, Towns has been the face of the Timberwolves -- and Edwards quickly grew into becoming his co-star last season.
The Timberwolves want to add Simmons into the mix to form a big three, but they'll have an extremely difficult time doing so unless a third team gets involved. As Daryl Morey's asking price remains sky-high, the Timberwolves can't get Simmons without adding either Towns or Edwards or offering a loaded-up package of players and picks centered around D'Angelo Russell.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.