#FreeKAT

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Updated: November 7, 2021
Townsss

We currently find ourselves in that portion of the season with just enough games to start forming opinions and yet exactly in the location where everyone’s take come’s with the asterisk of an “overreaction.” From the outside looking in it’s easier to stay levelheaded and remember this isn’t the NFL and there are still more than 70 games to go. But for players and the front offices of franchises they play for, the small sample size in combination with inside information that is unavailable to the public, 20 games in is where decisions start to be made. Then there are certain miss laps in judgment of what we make public that start to accelerate the process.

Karl Anthony Towns recently has been reported to have “liked” a Twitter post with the hashtag #FreeKAT and then made it twice as bad by claiming his Twitter account was hacked…only to like this one post. The truth of the matter is, up until last year Minnesota had openly expressed that they would do anything and everything to retain Towns and build around him. However, with their new combo guard Anthony Edwards, there are those in the Timberwolves front office who believe they should build around Edwards and his much younger timeline. The fact is, he has the juice and Towns doesn’t. So, the days of KAT rumoring he wants out and Minnesota having a full-blown panic attack may be over, as the Edwards’ Party who prefers to sell on Towns may be growing.

They have opened the season 3-5 only putting themselves above the future tanking teams in the West. The next 10-15 games will be quite influential for both parties, and if they are still below 500 come New Years, it might be a mutually beneficial decision to finally part ways. The reason for this being so intriguing is that despite being a maxed out center who has often been referred to as soft…possibly the worst adjective to be given to a player expected to protect the paint, as a 2nd or 3rd option on a title contender he could be absolutely devastating. He has also shown defensive flashes this season, the problem is this team around him just isn’t very good. KAT is an old 25, with a rookie of the year, All-Star appearances, 3rd team All-NBA, and a max contract signed all behind him. He wants and needs to start winning now. Anthony Edwards still has all these accolades to look forward to, along with the most important one, securing the bag.

Golden State

The majority of the Warriors fanbase would lose their minds when seeing all 3 young players in the exchange, but that is exactly the type of trade that is needed in order to snatch KAT away from Minnesota. The Timberwolves immediately would have a real young core in Edwards, Moody, Kuminga, and Wisemen, and would presumably move off DLO and Malik Beasley shortly after for additional assets. A pick or two may have to be included however this set of young talent already is quite an interesting package.

The biggest problem with the trade though is that to match salaries the Warriors are still 2.3 million short and have no single contract bigger than 2 outside of the starting lineup. One of the things that have been so impressive with Golden State this year has been their next man-up mentality and strength in numbers. They are the one team in basketball that may not execute such a deal because they don’t want to let go of their 11th and 12th man (which presumably would be Juan Toscano, Damian Lee, or Gary Payton II). There may be a possibility that they turn their two-player Chris Chiozza into a guaranteed 2.3 million contract to match salaries.

If they were able to make it work though, they would walk into the playoffs with possibly the most terrifying starting 5 in all of basketball. 1.) Curry 2.) Klay, 3.) Wiggins 4.) Draymond 5.) Towns with Jordan Poole coming off the bench. Considering the Warriors are the top-scoring team in 1st quarters with Looney in the lineup one can imagine what they would look like out the gates with the best 3 point shooting big added to the firepower. If they are unable to make the money work without sacrificing their depth, it probably would be a move that would be avoided…but if the only fear is to sacrifice the future, it is a sacrifice that would be worth making.

Atlanta 

A cleaner economic exchange would send Big KAT over to Atlanta who appears to be in a hangover after their Eastern Conference Finals appearance. With all their depth and upcoming contracts, there have already been thoughts that maybe they should combine some of them for an upgrade. Well, a frontcourt of Collins and Towns is about as offensively pungent as you will see around the league, and with the option of Capela, they should be covered for most matchups come the playoffs.

Minnesota gets the standard 4 picks and swaps along with 22-year-old Cam Reddish, 20-year-old center Onyeka Okongu, and the 20 million dollar contract of Gallinari. Cam Reddish is exactly that type of 3 point shooting wing that is hard to find and will need to get paid in two seasons, and Okongu has shown flashes of being an interesting undersized defensive-minded big. It should be assumed if they moved off KAT in either of these scenarios that they would tank themselves into a top 5 pick and that this new addition would be added to their young core created by the Towns trade.

If not for Anthony Edwards this whole process is a bit gloomy for the franchise however I think most people around the league would agree that Edwards has more tier 1 talent potential at this point than Towns. The thought was to pair them together however if come January the only teams they’re ahead of in the West are OKC, Houston, and a Zionless Pelicans, it might be time to cut their losses.

 

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