NBA Rumor: Karl-Anthony Towns Trade?

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Karl-Anthony Towns situation monitored around the league

Is there any reason to believe Towns wants to leave Minnesota? Krawczynski: Not at the moment, no. Towns is in his seventh season with the Timberwolves. He has said many times that he wants to win in Minnesota and doesn’t want to go elsewhere to do it, including at the end of last season when he said he hoped to have a career like Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan, two decades with one team. That said, there are those around the league who are watching his situation closely. Towns has had six GMs and five head coaches since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2015. The Wolves have made the playoffs just once in his time here. If you’re looking for the next star player to want to move, he would be high on a lot of lists. But every chance he has been given to express frustration, including today, he has been adamant that he is on board and wants to be a part of the solution in Minnesota.

Karl-Anthony Towns compares loyalty to Wolves to decision to play for DR National Team

Towns likens staying in Minnesota with his decision to continue to play for the Dominican Republic national team. He said he’s had opportunities to leave the Dominicans, his mother’s homeland, and reclassify to play with Team USA, which could use a talented big man. But that would be the easy route in his eyes. “I like taking the hard route. I like going the more rewarding route,” he said. “I love being with the Dominican Republic national team. There’s a lot of things they haven’t done, and I’m able to possibly change that. The challenge is what I’ve always strived for.”

The Crossover spoke with scouts from around the league in advance of the 2021–2022 season. Minnesota Timberwolves – “I still think they have a lot of questions. New ownership group coming, I think that adds another layer of questions: what’s going to happen there, what’s going to happen with the players if they don’t get off to a good start. You can hear Towns name on the trade block.”

Karl-Anthony Towns trade request unlikely

SiriusXM NBA Radio: Could a Karl-Anthony Towns trade request be the next shoe to drop in Minnesota? 🔊 @JonKrawczynski tells @talkhoops & @hoopscritic why he doesn’t believe that’s the case right now. #RaisedByWolves. “There are no indications that he is ready to go that route.” – Jon Krawczynski.

Is KAT’s trade value at all impacted by missing the playoffs yet again? If a Simmons deal can’t get done, would you think about trading him now, considering the likelihood that you may need to next offseason? — @JWeAnd1 Definitely no interest in trading him now. Towns will have plenty of value for the foreseeable future, barring a big injury. This is a big season. I think there will be more clarity, positive or negative, when 2021-22 concludes. Then the Wolves can make a real decision on how best to move forward. But Towns remains a focal point right now. That’s not changing anytime soon.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards off the table in potential Ben Simmons trade

Darren Wolfson: My understanding is Gersson (Rosas) communicated with Daryl (Morey), maybe some others in the Philadelphia front office… ‘OK, KAT off the table. Anthony Edwards off the table, everybody else on the table.’ But then like in the same breath, my understanding is D’Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons… They have a relationship. They played together in high school, that Gersson would love to have D’Angelo combined with Ben here.

The Athletic’s Timberwolves beat reporter John Krawczynski, however, recently reported that the team is hesitant to give up any of their core pieces in order to acquire him. They want a premium for (Simmons),” Krawczynski said of the Sixers on the “Athletic NBA Show” podcast on Friday. “Someone that can help them right away. But the Timberwolves don’t want to trade Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony towns. Those are those are deal-breakers. And they really would rather not trade D’Angelo Russell.”

Karl-Anthony Towns hopes to have career with just one team

Six seasons into his career, all with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns shared a desire to be donning a Wolves uniform throughout his career – a rarity in today’s NBA. “I hope to have a career like Kobe…with one team,” said Towns. “Like Tim [Duncan] and Kobe, where it’s one team and try to bring as many championships as possible.” “I just really am happy that I’m able to still be here playing for this amazing city and state and be able to stay here and affect change in the community,” shared Towns. “I’m just so happy that I’ve been given a chance to play here in Minnesota all these years.”

Karl-Anthony Towns comfortable in Minnesota

Krawczynski: From what I can gather, there’s an appreciation that Towns has for what the organization has done in terms of helping him through all of the grief that he has suffered over this last year. He’s got D’Angelo Russell here, his good buddy. He really does like Anthony Edwards a lot. He kind of envisions himself as a big brother to Edwards and helping him along in his development. You never say never with these things. You’re always going to be watching this, but all the indications on the ground here in Minnesota is that Towns is comfortable here and he likes his surroundings. He obviously wants to win. He wants to get back to the playoffs.

Krawczynski: I do understand why plenty of executives around the league are monitoring the situation closely. Towns has been in Minnesota for six years. He’s only made the playoffs one year. The team in general has really struggled the past couple of years. He went through injuries, he’s gone through losing his mother and some other family members to Covid. It’s just been kind of a miserable existence really for the last few years. That said, from everything that I’ve been able to glean from Towns, his camp, and the Timberwolves themselves, I don’t think there’s anything imminent in terms of any kind of atrade request or things of that nature. He’s got three years left on his contract, which obviously the Timberwolves want to keep a player of his talent around.

Scotto: Recently, Carmelo Anthony moved into the Top 10 all-time on the NBA’s scoring list, and Towns was asked about him. He spoke glowingly about Carmelo’s time with the Knicks. He said he made it cool to be a Knick. With that in mind, I’ll always remember someone close to Towns who told me for years that one day he’d love to be a Knick. I remember his dad being at MSG when Leon Rose, the Knicks’ President who was Towns’ former agent, got the job, and it was his first day at the Garden on the job.

Knicks interested in Karl-Anthony Towns?

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News recently reported that Thibodeau would ‘be open’ to a reunion with the supremely talented big man and that the Knicks are monitoring Towns’ situation (via SNY on YouTube): Stefan Bondy: I don’t know if Minnesota would ever make Karl-Anthony Towns available. But as bad as things ended for Thibodeau in Minnesota, I’ve heard that he’d be open to Karl-Anthony Towns again because Thibodeau just wants to win and he thinks Karl-Anthony Towns will help him do that. And so I know that Karl-Anthony Towns is somebody that’s actually been reported before that the Knicks are monitoring as well.

The Star-Tribune: So you’d understand it, even if it would be tough to take? Karl-Anthony Towns: I mean, you’ve been through my journey. You’ve seen how much change I went through. Obviously there’s a lot of decisions (where), obviously, as a person — person to person — you obviously don’t like, and as a player you may not like, but it’s something you’ve got to live with. And that comes with just having trust in those guys, so I’m not going to say either — anything. Like I said, I don’t get paid to make those decisions. Those are tough decisions, but here’s to hoping that I see Cov on Friday I guess. … Look man, he’s a great guy, a great dude. He’s a great player. He’s helped me tremendously and he’s continuing to help me every day. He just gives me such comfort out there.

The Star-Tribune: How much would you want Cov to stay here, because he’s been a focus of all this? Karl-Anthony Towns: I mean I think it’s very, very, very — for you, especially (he says to beat reporter Chris Hine) — I think it’s very obvious (that) he’s my best friend on the team, so it would be very difficult if something like that was going to happen. Um, you know, but like with Zach LaVine (who was traded from Minnesota to Chicago in the Jimmy Butler trade in June 2017) , you know this is a business. So like I said, I’m the one who just plays the game. I don’t get paid to make rosters and stuff like that. That’s why we have Gerss and them, so…

Monday on NBC Sports Boston’s Arbella Early Edition, A. Sherrod Blakely explained how Boston will be one of the teams engaging with the Minnesota Timberwolves if they make their All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns available. As much as the Celtics are one of the teams that like Capela, he’s not the only guy that they have their eyes on. You know, Karl-Anthony Towns is a name that we’ve heard quite often and right now Minnesota isn’t quite ready to engage teams in conversations about him. But make no mistake about it, he too will be a player that I think if they make him available, Boston will be among the teams that will express interest.

Karl-Anthony Towns untouchable?

Despite recent rumors and speculation with the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, Rosas insists that Towns, 24, is Minnesota’s franchise guy for now and the future. “Karl-Anthony Towns is as untouchable as they come,” Rosas told ESPN. “He’s the best player on our team and he’s the guy we’re building around. Everything we do is to help him become the best player and to help us become the best team we can be. He’s a special talent that we’re going to do anything possible to help him achieve his highest potential.”

Karl-Anthony Towns downplays rumors

While he was out, reports surfaced concerning teams monitoring Towns’ level of unhappiness. In his first public comments since the injury, he made a strong statement that reaffirmed his commitment to the Wolves when asked about those reports. Here it is in full, with a curse word edited. “I think you’ve been around me long enough to know I don’t go for all the …,” Towns said. “I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is. There’s a reason those stories are made because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be. I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf. Very fortunate I have a head coach like [Ryan Saunders], a President and friend like [Gersson Rosas]. I’m not worried about all that nonsense.

While certain league sources downplayed the Towns situation with the Wolves — confirming what Jon Krawczynski reported — there were multiple front office sources from Western Conference teams away from the situation curious if the friendship between Towns and Russell serves as a conduit between parties. Towns and Russell are great friends, along with Booker from the Phoenix Suns. Speculation certainly exists focusing on the friendship of Towns and Russell, wondering whether or not Russell could be feeding information to the Warriors.

The Wolves have been adamant, in every conversation I’ve had with them, that they are building “everything” around Towns. The swift fall from Minnesota’s promising 10-8 start to 12th in the West entering Tuesday’s play is undeniably alarming, but I’ve been advised that the idea of trading Towns is pretty much the last thing the Wolves are thinking about. Don’t forget that Towns is in Year 1 of a five-year, $190 million contract extension. The Wolves also have a new front-office regime headed by Gersson Rosas. Rushing into a trade of that magnitude makes little sense.

This was a topic among multiple team executives at the recent G League Showcase, with a few relaying word that Towns is unhappy in Minnesota. The Wolves currently sit at 13th in the Western Conference, two spots ahead of the gap-year Warriors, looking at another lost season. While the Wolves might dream of a scenario where Russell teams up with his good friend Towns, the Warriors have a differing vision of how a trade between the two franchises could shake out.

Flash forward a year and there’s a completely different feeling between the franchise and its centerpiece. New President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas has made it clear at every turn that the priority is building around Towns. New coach Ryan Saunders has a close relationship with Towns and is fashioning the offense to take full advantage of his varied skill set. How different does it feel? “I’m here. That’s the answer. That’s the best answer I can give you,” Towns said. “I’m here. I’m actually in Minnesota. You can write about that what you want.”

Thibodeau and Towns have spoken on the phone this offseason, league sources told The Athletic, and there is expected to be more substantive dialogue in the coming weeks when Towns returns from his travels. According to several people familiar with the situation, there has not been an impasse between the two. Towns has not asked for a trade and the Wolves are not considering trading him. As contract extension talks kick off for Towns this summer, the communication only figures to increase.

“I think their owner would trade management/the coach before he would trade Karl-Anthony Towns,” Wojnarowski said. “I don’t think they would allow that. I just don’t believe they’d allow that kind of decision. And I don’t know that they’d want to trade him. To answer this first, Minnesota’s bigger issue is not…he’s Karl-Anthony Towns, they’re not moving him, Towns is eligible for his extension this summer. You know Jimmy Butler…it’s more of a question of Andrew Wiggins. That to me would be, if someone was going to get moved — and I’m not saying anyone’s going to get moved — I think Andrew Wiggins is the one you’re going to look at first. Because…you don’t have to make a decision on Towns and Jimmy Butler and one of those guys having to take less on an extension, because you can’t have three [max] guys.”

Wolves taking calls on Karl-Anthony Towns?

Brian Windhorst: They recently fired Vince Legarza, who’s his strength-and-conditioning coach or he’s actually his workout coach with the Wolves and, according to The Athletic, didn’t tell him about it. He found out when everybody else did. I don’t think that the Wolves are looking to trade him, but teams are definitely sniffing around as if maybe there’s something here. They’ve already taken some calls on him. This is not new. Blake Griffin, the Clippers called and offered Blake Griffin for him. They’re going to, I believe, get more calls on this, especially the way there seems to be a disconnect between Karl and the franchise.
5 years ago via ESPN

Brian Windhorst: “Has anybody noticed what’s going on in Minnesota with Karl-Anthony Towns and that organization?” Zach Lowe: “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.” Windhorst: “If I were the Celtics, I would make a quiet call to Minnesota.”

As a result, additional Timberwolves players needed to make the trade work financially were not discussed, league sources told Basketball Insiders. Griffin makes $29.5 million and Towns only makes $6.2 million this season, which makes a one-for-one swap impossible due to the $23.3 million salary gap. At least two additional Timberwolves players would need to be included in a trade involving Griffin and Towns to make it work financially. The Clippers would’ve also needed to create another roster spot for the hypothetical incoming third Timberwolves player.

The Timberwolves explored several trade options in June, including for Chicago star Jimmy Butler, but Thibodeau, also Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, now sounds as committed as anyone in the franchise to his young trio. Outside the organization, executives wonder about Minnesota’s inclination to keep all three. But within the franchise, there is no question: management and owner Glen Taylor will do whatever it takes financially in order to win. “I love our core three guys, and what I love most is their work ethic, their dedication to work,” Thibodeau said. “They understand the level we need to reach, particularly defensively, and their work shows that they will work to get it right. We understand that it’s going to take some time and we need to work at it each and every day.”
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