How Timberwolves’ crazy move affects Ben Simmons trade landscape

How the Wolves’ bizarre move affects Simmons landscape originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The NBA world was shaken by a truly bizarre decision from the North on Wednesday as the Timberwolves dismissed President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, just 12 days before the Wolves’ preseason opener.

On top of the move being strangely-timed, it seems to have caught basically everyone off-guard considering Rosas joined Minnesota just over two years ago and the team is still in rebuilding mode. Rosas made a trade on the Wolves’ behalf less than a month ago.

T-Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns sure was confused by the decision:

YIKES.

So, pure chaos in Minnesota. Got it. How does this affect the Sixers?

It’s a little intertwined, and could go one of two ways.

In the “this hurts the Sixers” camp, we have the loss of Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey’s relationship with Rosas. During their time together in Houston, Rosas was Morey’s right-hand man. The people who run basketball teams don’t make moves solely based on who they’re friends with, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be buddy-buddy with a GM when you’re trying to trade your disgruntled All-Star.

Now for the “this helps the Sixers” camp. It sounded through multiple reports like Rosas and the Timberwolves weren’t exactly interested in sending the Sixers any of their core players – Towns, D’Angelo Russell, or Anthony Edwards – so maybe that was more of a pipe dream. Maybe this shakeup leads to installing a leadership group that is more willing to part with one or more core pieces in a potential Simmons trade.

It’s also vaguely possible this move doesn’t affect the Sixers’ Simmons trade discussions much at all, but I’d imagine the impact will be felt in front offices around the league.

There’s also this little nugget from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, who reports that league sources indicate the new Timberwolves ownership group has an eye on Sixers general manager Elton Brand as their next person in charge of basketball operations:

Since Brand has largely been relegated to a consultant on Morey’s moves as the main guy in charge, perhaps he’d be interested in a fresh start elsewhere to try his hand again at running a team.

Ultimately, what this does for the Sixers (and for the Wolves) remains to be seen. But at least for now, the Summer of Simmons is not the biggest circus in the NBA.