As the team finds itself with a 17-17 record, New York Knicks rumors continue to point in the direction of an impactful deal ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline.
Led by first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau and All-Star forward Julius Randle, these Knicks have been the most-surprising aspect of the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.
It could now lead to team president Leon Rose pulling off that franchise-altering trade. One name has apparently come up as an option should he become available.
The New York Knicks are interested in a Karl-Anthony Towns trade, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports:
“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.”
Now, there have been no concrete reports indicating that Towns, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ franchise cornerstone, is available. Team president Gersson Rosas views him as the face of the organization.
With that said, a Towns departure from Minnesota at some point in the not-so-distant future would not be a surprise. The Wolves sit at 7-27 on the season and are the worst team in the NBA. Having played just 14 games this season due to injuries and a bout with COVID-19, Towns might want out of dodge. Hence, these Knicks rumors.
New York has assets in its own first-round picks for the foreseeable future and a remaining Dallas Mavericks first-rounder stemming from the Kristaps Porzingis trade. It also has youngsters Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin to offer up as well as a nice amount of cap room. The recent trade for Derrick Rose did nothing to change this.
Bondy’s report was part of a larger look at the Knicks’ situation, the status of Randle included. Earlier this season, there were NBA rumors linking the Knicks to a Randle trade. That’s no longer the case given his surprising success and the Knicks’ status as a playoff contender.
In no way does this mean New York will be inactive ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline. The team has already been linked to star Chicago Bulls forward Zach LaVine and Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Either one would be a notable move.
However, acquiring Towns from the Wolves would trump everything. As of right now, there’s no indication that the All-Star big man is available to rejoin his former coach in the Big Apple. With that said, things could change on a dime.