Rumors Swirling in Minnesota

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Updated: September 23, 2021
KAT-2

In the wake of an abrupt termination of the president of operations Gersan Rosas, a bold tweet by Sean Wright has caused a small tornado to spin around the league about 7-foot sniper Karl Anthony Towns. Until yesterday, the assumed narrative was that the Minnesota Timberwolves were doing everything in their power to appease their 25-year-old franchise Center. The dedication to his happiness has gone so far as to make fluke one-time all-star D’Angelo Russel lowkey untouchable in trade discussion with the Sixers over an exchange for Ben Simmons (despite his perfect fit with Towns in the frontcourt). Although it is undebatable that the Wolves have done a poor job surrounding KAT with winning talent outside the Jimmy Butler year, Karl Towns has been abysmal on the defensive end of the floor despite the fact he looks like he was built in a lab as a modern big. If the NBA Gods would’ve put Draymond’s heart and mind into KAT’s body we’d probably be looking at a top 20 player all-time…instead at the moment the only awards he’s in the running for is Softest Center in the league right next to KP in Dallas.

One thing is clear, Towns will never be the best player on a title team. The hope is that though he lacks the Alpha mentality to be the guy, that under the right coaching staff and the right pieces around him he will become the perennial All-Star big that everyone around the league assumed that he already was two years back. All that said, if he were traded to a team where he was the 2nd or even 3rd option on a contender, his offensive production would be downright terrifying. We have never seen a true 7-foot center in a grown man’s body with such a pure stroke from distance as Karl Towns. And at only 25 years old, he has the rare variable to his value that he can add to a contender’s win-now attack while simultaneously betting on his future upside.

It should be noted, that quickly after the tweet hit the airwaves, The Athletic posted an article claiming the rumors are fiction and KAT has no intentions of asking out of Minnesota. Really none of this matters, the idea is already out there. And when one looks at the options below, Minnesota has to consider that building around Anthony Edwards’ timeline and selling high on KAT is probably the only route to a future title. If a deal of this nature was slipped under the door of the front office in Minneapolis, it would undoubtedly be the discussion of serious consideration of their future moving forward.

Atlanta 

The Hawks find themselves in a precarious situation of exceeding expectations while having the looming multitude of young players needing to get paid all at once. One of the primary reasons for this is the Gallinari contract that overlaps with several of their rookie contracts evolving into extensions. In this deal, they move off 6’8 two-way wing Cam Reddish and the red Mamba Kevin Huerter who both are in the final year of their rookie deals along with the Gallinari contract. The Hawks then have 3 very interesting pieces to utilize in the frontcourt with Capela, John Collins, and Towns. They would be looking at a starting lineup of Trae Young, Bogdanovic, Hunter, Collins, and Towns, with Capela coming off the bench or slotted in at the 5 in specific matchups. The move would significantly hinder their depth, however, it is depth that they may not be able to pay for moving forward.

Minnesota 

One can assume that if Kat was moved, the Wolves’ next call right after hanging up the phone would be to Philly to package DLO and Beasley for Simmons. Even if the Sixers aren’t interested, DLO becomes much easier to move for assets than win now pieces. Moving off the two veteran guards would make space for a starting lineup of Kevin Huerter, Anthony Edwards, Cam Reddish, Gallinari, and Okongwu. It certainly isn’t a roster getting through the first round of the playoffs, but neither is their current one. And with 4 additional picks coming and the assets collected after selling off DLO and Beasley, the future looks far brighter for the development of future star Anthony Edwards. Especially since they own their pick this year, ideally, they develop and play strong until the deadline where they sell of their vets and get themselves a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft.

Minnesota

Honestly, as a Warriors fan, I’m terrified of this exchange, however, it is the type of deal that once in the hand of Minnesota does feel like an offer one cannot refuse. A young core and starting lineup of 1.) DLO, 2.) Moses Moody, 3.) Anthony Edwards, 4.) Kuminga, 5.) Wisemen may be the most fun young lineup to watch across the league. By the deadline, they would find new homes for Malik Beasley and Patrick Beverly and welcome the tank for a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft. They could also take the route of moving off DLO in the 2022 offseason as they draft a point guard with their upcoming lottery pick. The upside of Wisemen and Kuminga alone is beyond intriguing when considering what the 3 of them in combination with Edwards could end up becoming.

Golden State

The Warriors send out their entire future and yet nothing that they intend to depend on come playoff time this year. In return for 3 recent lottery selections, 3 unprotected first that are well beyond Klay and Curry’s prime, they get possibly the best fitting big on the offensive end of the floor next to Draymond Green. 1.) Curry, 2.) Klay, 3.) Wiggins, 4.) Dray 5.) Towns would be the most efficient and lethal 3-point shooting squad in the NBA. It would also increase Draymond’s usability on the offensive end by placing a sniper next to him in the frontcourt. The hope would be Draymond would pull some of the defensive potentials out of KAT that has been lacking with Green there as the defensive commander demanding accountability. For the Warriors, the best part of such an exchange this year is they already have their depth solidified outside of all these rookie contracts. With Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano Anderson, Otto Porter, Iguodala, and Bjelica, all coming off the bench, their 8–9-man rotation in the playoffs would remain intact despite sending out 6 players in the trade. Most likely after trading Wisemen and Looney, they would pick up the rumored free agent Marc Gasol as a backup big to soak up minutes when needed.

Conclusion

The Wolves have been quite adamant about their stance on Karl Towns and the hopes for him to remain in Minnesota long term. However, with the recent scandal and firing of their president of operations, it is impossible to know what the future regime assumes to be the best route for their future. Every front office is divided just like all sports media teams who share podcasts, and it is quite likely that there are very loud voices already present in the Minnesota front office who would love to begin a true rebuild in the post-Towns era. Whether it be the soft rebuild with Atlanta, the full rebuild with Golden State, or exploring their options with New York and Boston, all routes would most likely bring a young cheaper center to replace KAT while stacking them with assets at all other positions.

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