KEY POINTS

  • Ben Simmons' potential trade is still one of the most talked-about subjects in the league
  • The Timberwolves reportedly remain interested in Simmons but have already listed other options as well
  • Karl-Anthony Towns talks about Minnesota's run this season

The Minnesota Timberwolves could be on the verge of establishing a new team identity.

At the peak of the Ben Simmons trade saga, the Timberwolves became one of the most mentioned teams eyeing a swoop for the Sixers star.

To this day, nothing is concrete yet, but Minnesota already got its sights on potential plan B’s.

Should the Timberwolves reckon that the Simmons trade will be unattainable for various reasons, they will be open to exploring a deal for either Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant or Sacramento Kings’ Harrison Barnes, The Athletic reported.

The report added that the T-Wolves could consider tracking either of the two remarkable scorers ahead of the trade deadline.

Australian Ben Simmons sparked the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA pre-season victory over China's Guangzhou Lions on Tuesday from which two spectators supporting Hong Kong freedom were removed from the crowd Australian Ben Simmons sparked the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA pre-season victory over China's Guangzhou Lions on Tuesday from which two spectators supporting Hong Kong freedom were removed from the crowd Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / ANDY LYONS

According to another The Athletic report, sources saud that Minnesota is still expected to be included in the list of Simmons’ suitors.

Aside from Simmons, the team is also keen on landing Indiana Pacers’ big man Myles Turner.

However, the report noted that the recent significant contributions of Jarred Vanderbilt have prompted the T-Wolves to put the pursuit of Turner aside.

Instead, the focus has shifted to bringing in bench players who have a size advantage and more three-point shooters.

Vanderbilt has been one of the best performers in the Timberwolves’ recent run. The 22-year-old’s defensive tenacity has played a key role in the team’s notable improvement on defense, having climbed its way up to the 11tg spot in the league’s defensive rankings heading into the game against the Memphis Grizzlies last Thursday, January 13.

Assessing the squad’s impressive defense, Vanderbilt stressed that they have “realized” they are a better team when they are “aggressive and getting into the ball.”

“I think a couple of games we tried to change it up and go dropping, but we realized we’re just a better team when we’re aggressive and getting into the ball, being in the gaps, flying around and just making multiple efforts,” Vanderbilt stated. “I think that was the biggest change for us.”

Before losing their last two games, the Timberwolves were on a stunning four-game winning streak.

It is yet to be known whether Simmons can really be a great addition, but for the team’s talisman Karl-Anthony Towns, one thing certain thus far is that they have not made the impression they want to make.

"We can't get to four (consecutive wins) and act like it's cool and we're just going to be given games," Towns recently told Star Tribune. "We ain't going to be given no games in this league. Timberwolves ain't done much of anything in how long?”

"We ain't getting no respect. Ain't no one giving us respect. We've got to go earn it every single night. Can't be four, can't be five, can't be six. We've got to be 10-plus (wins). That's where I want to be.”

Karl-Anthony Towns DECEMBER 01: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks to pass against Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards in the first half at Capital One Arena on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images