Thibodeau said he’s “very optimistic” the Wolves will sign Towns to a contract extension before the regular season starts. They have until October’s end to sign him to an extension that could be worth $187 million. If they don’t sign him by then, he’ll become a restricted free agent summer.
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 3, 2021 | 10:12 am EDT Update
Sources say the Warriors have hope with free-agent guard Patty Mills, the long-time Spurs reserve. He figures to be one of those difference-making fits. At 32, with a championship ring, 90 career playoff games and noteworthy international experience, Mills checks the veteran box. The Warriors could use his shot-making and offensive creation.
If Jazz forward Joe Ingles is indeed available for trade, sources say the Warriors do have interest — just no good way to get him. Ingles, approaching 34, fits the Warriors’ need for a veteran and another offensive playmaker. His passing would fit perfectly with the Warriors. He can run point forward and spot up off the ball, making him viable with the starters and the second unit. He’s got 45 playoff games under his belt. He shot a career-best 45.1 percent from 3 on a career-high 6.1 attempts per game — his third season at 44 percent or above. He’s also reputed for being a great guy and would add to the culture of the locker room.
The most viable option to get Ingles is to see where Oubre Jr. signs and try to convert it into a sign-and-trade. In that scenario, the Warriors would get a traded player exception in exchange for Oubre and they could use that exception to get Ingles, if he is available. But that’s adding $13 million (plus the repeater tax) to what is already the league’s highest payroll. Ingles is good, but is he good enough for Lacob to stomach the added cost? The Warriors could keep the TPE for potential use later, but the same question would come up.
Marc Stein: The Timberwolves officially announce the completion of their trade of Ricky Rubio to CLEVELAND for Taurean Prince, cash and a 2022 second-round pick.
Semi Ojeleye’s four-year tenure with the Boston Celtics came to an end on Monday evening. Adrian Wojarnowski of ESPN.com was first to report that Ojeleye has agreed to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. A league source tells MassLive the deal is expected to be for the veteran’s minimum.
Keith Smith: Team USA will play Australia in the Olympics Semifinals. Thursday 8/5 at 12:15 AM ET. Gonna be another late night!