The Minnesota Timberwolves are 21-47 on the year, good for 13th place in the Western Conference. After earning the top pick in last year’s NBA draft, the team’s trajectory this season seems roughly similar.
To be clear – there have been some positives this season. Anthony Edwards, the team’s prized young rookie, is exhibiting all of the attributes folks had hoped he’d bring over from college. He’s a star in the making, and objectively the best first-year player not named LaMelo Ball.
Similarly, Karl-Anthony Towns has continued to establish himself as one of the NBA’s most versatile and talented bigs. Off-the-court problems notwithstanding, any time Towns takes the floor he has the capacity to do something special.
That said, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Minnesota this year. The team’s prized trade acquisition from last year, D’Angelo Russell, got hurt. Towns missed the first half of the season with his own set of injuries. The team had to change coaches mid-gear, making Ryan Saunders the first casualty of the year.
And obviously – the team’s record leaves something to be desired.
With all of that in mind, many have taken to wondering whether a divorce between the Timberwolves and Towns is on the horizon. He certainly wouldn’t be the first superstar to get irritated with his squad’s losing ways, and there have long been rumors about him getting dealt to an Eastern Conference rival.
This week, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic appeared on the HoopsHype podcast and offered his thoughts on the viability of a trade centering around Towns.
“I do understand why plenty of executives around the league are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.
“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 a trade 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.”
At one point or another, the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks were both mentioned as legitimate options for Towns. Whether or not they’ll still be players when and if Minnesota puts him on the trade block remains to be seen.