The NBA generally features a lot of player movement, and we've seen plenty of stars switch teams in recent memory. Sometimes, we even see multiple big-name players move in one transaction.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report has recently proposed a blockbuster trade which would send Karl-Anthony Towns to Boston, Jaylen Brown to Philadelphia, and Ben Simmons to Minnesota.
Boston Celtics receive: Karl-Anthony Towns
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Jaylen Brown and Patrick Beverley
Minnesota Timberwolves receive: Ben Simmons, Robert Williams III, Matisse Thybulle, Jaden Springer, and 2022 first-round pick (from PHI)
Buckley claimed that there's "win-win-win" potential in this trade, and reasoned that the 3 All-Stars would all fit better in their new destinations. It is easy to see from his words how each team could improve, as each team would get a star that is more suited to their roster needs.
Boston's motivation here is simple: Walking away with the best player in the deal, or at least the one who best complements Tatum. As good as Brown is—and he's pounding on the door to greatness—there's plenty of overlap with him and Tatum, and there aren't many ways they can help each other. Towns, on the other hand, could run countless pick plays with Tatum and empty the arsenal with rolls to the rim, pops to the perimeter or quick kicks to open shooters.
Philadelphia would follow a similar path by improving the fit of Joel Embiid's co-star. Brown, whose name has surfaced in the Simmons trade chatter, can do a little (or a lot) of everything, which would make it easy to coexist with the Sixers' star center. Brown plays both ends, finds shots for himself and his teammates, impresses with three-point volume and efficiency and keeps earning more trips to the foul line.
Also helpful, this trade package wouldn't torpedo Philly's defense the way an all-in move for Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal might. Brown can check any wing he encounters, and Patrick Beverley is a pest on the ball.
Minnesota, meanwhile, might already have enough data at the time of this deal—Robert Williams III can't be traded until the end of January—to know the Towns-D'Angelo Russell pairing isn't working. This trade would balance Minnesota's top-heavy roster while adding a quartet of 25-and-under talents who could all grow alongside 2020 top pick, Anthony Edwards.
Simmons' playmaking could help bring this group together, and he would work some open-court miracles with Edwards. Williams could slide into Towns' former spot and inject the middle with defensive versatility and underrated distributing. Matisse Thybulle would give the Wolves one of the most disruptive wing defenders in the Association, while Jaden Springer and the draft pick would give the franchise a couple of long-term wild cards.
There is win-win-win potential here, as there should be with three All-Stars on the move.
It remains to be seen if a blockbuster trade like this will eventually happen. The Philadelphia 76ers were reported to be interested in a Jaylen Brown - Ben Simmons exchange with the Boston Celtics. While the Boston Celtics may not agree to a straight-up Simmons- Brown swap, perhaps they would if they got Karl-Anthony Towns, and rerouted Ben Simmons to the Minnesota Timberwolves who are well documented as being one of the teams interested in making a move for Simmons.
There have been no suggestions that a deal with this framework is actually in progress. However, nothing is impossible, and there are solid reasons for each franchise to make this trade.