The future is unclear for Minnesota Timberwolves big Karl-Anthony Towns, whose fit with head coach Tom Thibodeau has of late seemed awkward.
On a recent podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst asked colleague Zach Lowe to offer his perspective on Towns and his relationship with the Timberwolves organization moving forward. Here is what Lowe had to say about the unique situation (via The Lowe Post):
“Darren Wolfson [veteran reporter in Minnesota] alluded to a lot of it on a podcast a couple weeks ago. I said on a podcast recently that I just have a gut feeling something crazy is gonna happen there this summer. It’s not in a good place right now internally.”
Perhaps, as suggested by Windhorst, the Celtics should “make a quiet call” to the front office in Minnesota. He added if Boston is looking for opportunities to rebuild their roster, Towns would be a “different story” than exploring their chances for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.
The organization has been long-linked to Davis in trade rumors but nearly all reports indicate that the big man is not leaving the Pelicans. For example, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor described New Orleans trading Davis as “nothing more than a fantasy” in a recent column.
Towns, who like Davis also played college basketball at Kentucky, seems like a more realistic option for the Celtics. He would fit well with Al Horford, who has served as a mentor for the young talent. They shared a frontcourt on the national team for the Dominican Republic.
The Timberwolves would likely ask for both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, though it’s entirely possible that just one of them with another key asset like their first-round pick next season that will convey from either the Sacramento Kings or Philadelphia 76ers.
Tatum seems fairly unattainable at this point but Brown and a first, especially if they’d take a tougher contract (e.g. Cole Aldrich) would be appealing.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old will be eligible for a big contract extension as early as this offseason. If the front office plans to extend point guard Kyrie Irving, it would lead to an extraordinary luxury tax bill for Boston. It seems the Celtics would listen to a deal for Irving if it involved a player like Towns. Whether or not he would actually re-sign with Boston on a longterm deal is a more interesting question.
One way to potentially avoid this scenario, though unlikely, could lead the Celtics to consider trading Irving to land Towns. Terry Rozier has looked phenomenal when filling in for him during the postseason and there is a risk of long-term injury troubles for Irving.
Butler was reportedly lobbying the organization to trade for Irving when the Cavaliers made him available last offseason.
The Timberwolves were one of the teams that made an offer for him before he landed in Boston. It’s unlikely that anything will happen in the near future but it’s worth considering as their season nears a close.