What’s the feeling you get about KAT – amendable situation or not? Jon Krawczynski: I don’t think we’ve reached a breaking point between Towns and the organization. Had that been the case, I could have seen him canceling the Minnesota basketball camp to avoid coming back to town. As reported at The Athletic during summer league, the Wolves have put a max contract offer in front of his representatives. But as KAT first made clear to me in a phone call from Italy, and as he reiterated last week in Plymouth, there is still some communication that needs to take place before pen is put to paper.
Jon Krawczynski: Everyone in the organization expects Towns to sign the extension. No rookie has passed up this much money before and Towns doesn’t figure to be the first. While he has not provided specifics on what he wants to discuss, one would think Tom Thibodeau’s decision to fire Legarza, a close confidante of KAT’s during his first three NBA seasons, would probably be on that list.
“I think I’ve done a lot of things here. I’m very proud of the things I’ve been able to do so far,” Towns said in response to the final question of the session about whether he considers Minnesota a second home. “But I have a lot of things that have to be talked about, so I’ll move on.”
Jon Krawczynski: Talked to Karl-Anthony Towns at his camp today. Very happy to talk about the work he’s done with the kids over 3 years. Again, not interested in discussing contract/Wolves situation.
It also comes while the Timberwolves are in the early stages of discussions with Towns’ representatives about a max-level contract, league sources told The Athletic. Towns recently returned to the United States after vacationing in Italy, and there was hope that the talks could become more substantive now that he’s back home.
If Towns and the Timberwolves eventually reach agreement, a five-year extension would pay him $158 million. That number could increase to closer to $190 million if Towns makes an All-NBA team next season like he did in 2017-18.
Michael Scotto: The Athletic Sources: Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a maximum rookie scale contract extension, colleague @JonKrawczynski and I are told.
The Timberwolves have no interest in trading Towns and Towns has not come close to making such a request, according to sources, so all signs point to a deal eventually getting done. Those negotiations also will likely provide an opportunity for constructive communication between Towns, Thibodeau and Taylor, who always likes to get involved in these major deals.
The Wolves can sign Towns to a five-year maximum contract extension this summer; under the NBA’s labor agreement they can give two players coming off their rookie contracts such an offer. They used the first to sign Wiggins last October to an extension worth at least $146 million. “Obviously, you know how we feel about Karl also, so we feel the same way about him being here,” Thibodeau said. “We want him here for a long time and at the appropriate time we’ll sit down and talk with him. But he’s a huge part of our future.”
And 2019 is the year that Towns likely will have a new contract kicking in, too — he will be eligible for an extension next summer. He has taken notice of the rich deals that the league has been giving out to top players lately, including the four-year, $228 million deal that James Harden received from the Rockets. “Unbelievable,” Towns said. “For his ability to have $57 million in the bank yearly is something special, but it speaks to the popularity of the NBA, how well it is doing. I am so fortunate to be part of the league at this time, not just because it is lucrative, but because it is at its strongest point, the best foundation that has been built by the NBA and the players who came before us.”
Taylor said that the Wolves’ plans involve extending Wiggins now and Karl-Anthony Towns next year. “We are talking to [Wiggins’] agent right now about extending him out another five years, so we can do that,” Taylor said. “Karl, we won’t do that until next year. Wiggins, we want to sign him to a long-term contract, we want to keep him here, and we’re negotiating with his agent. But we just started that negotiation, and we have quite some time to get that done.”
August 5, 2021 | 6:55 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: Sources: The Wizards are rescinding Garrison Mathews’ qualifying offer, which will make Mathews an unrestricted free agent. The 24-year-old Mathews shot 38 percent from 3-point range last year and started 24 games as a two-way player.
Josh Halickman: Jacob Evans signs with Hapoel Eilat for the 21/22 season. The @GoBearcatsMBB guard was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and also played for Minnesota. Good Luck @JacobEvans_1 , Welcome to Eilat & Israel!
Tragedy has struck the Colorado men’s basketball family. According to a news release from the Department of Defense, Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Tresse King, the mother of former Buffaloes star George King, died on Tuesday while deployed in Kuwait. No details were released other than saying King died “in a noncombat-related incident” at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
King recently passed through Boulder while making his way to Portland, where he was set to play for the Trailblazers’ NBA Summer League team. Head coach Tad Boyle shared a lunch with King, and on Thursday on behalf of the entire program Boyle expressed his condolences to the King family.
August 5, 2021 | 6:29 pm EDT Update
Duane Rankin: #Suns, Frank Kaminsky III agree to a one-year, $2.1M deal according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein of @Priority Sports. Gives #Suns not only another big, but big who has played under Monty Williams in two seasons as #Suns coach. Great in locker room. Team guy. Has contributed.