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The NBA is known for its high level of player mobility, and we’ve seen a number of big names transfer clubs in recent years. We’ve even seen transactions involving numerous big-name players.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, a blockbuster deal involving Karl-Anthony Towns, Jaylen Brown, and Ben Simmons would send Karl-Anthony Towns to Boston, Jaylen Brown to Philadelphia, and Ben Simmons to Minnesota.
Karl-Anthony Towns is on his way to the Boston Celtics.
Jaylen Brown and Patrick Beverley are on their way to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ben Simmons, Robert Williams III, Matisse Thybulle, Jaden Springer, and a 2022 first-round selection go to the Minnesota Timberwolves (from PHI)
Buckley argued that this move had “win-win-win” potential, claiming that the three All-Stars will all fit well in their new homes. It’s clear to see how each club may improve based on his statements, since each team would acquire a star that is more suited to their roster requirements.
The goal for Boston is simple: get the best player in the trade, or at the very least the one who best complements Tatum. As terrific as Brown is—and he’s on his way to greatness—he and Tatum have a lot in common, and there aren’t many ways they can support one other. Towns, on the other hand, could run a slew of pick plays with Tatum and completely empty his arsenal with rim rolls, perimeter pops, and fast kicks to open shooters.
Philadelphia would use a similar approach by boosting Joel Embiid’s co-fit. star’s Brown, whose name has come up in the Simmons trade rumor mill, can do a little (or a lot) of everything, making it simple for him to get along with the Sixers’ star center. Brown is a two-way player who finds shots for himself and his teammates, impresses with his three-point volume and efficiency, and continues to earn more foul shots.
Also beneficial, unlike an all-in deal for Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal, this trade package would not jeopardize Philadelphia’s defense. Brown can check any winger he comes across, and Patrick Beverley is a ball hog.
Minnesota, on the other hand, may already have enough information at the time of the trade—Robert Williams III can’t be transferred until the end of January—to know that the Towns-D’Angelo Russell combination isn’t working. Minnesota’s top-heavy roster would be balanced with the addition of a quartet of 25-and-under players who could all develop with 2020 top selection Anthony Edwards.
Simmons’ playmaking skills might help pull this squad together, and he and Edwards could perform some open-court miracles. Williams could take Towns’ place in the middle and add defensive flexibility and undervalued distributing to the mix. Matisse Thybulle would provide the Wolves with one of the league’s most disruptive wing defenders, while Jaden Springer and the draft selection would provide the team with some long-term wild cards.
With three All-Stars on the move, this has the potential to be a win-win-win situation.
It’s unclear if a blockbuster deal like this will ever take place. The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to a trade with the Boston Celtics including Jaylen Brown and Ben Simmons. While the Boston Celtics are unlikely to agree to a straight-up Simmons-Brown trade, they may if they obtained Karl-Anthony Towns and diverted Ben Simmons to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are widely said to be interested in making a bid for Simmons.
There has been no indication that an agreement using this framework is in the works. Nothing is impossible, however, and there are compelling reasons for each brand to make the switch.