Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns is easily one of the best big men in the NBA these days, and recent rumors have been suggesting that he might be on the move this summer, with the Timberwolves reportedly taking calls from teams interested in the talented young center. However, Minnesota might not be as willing to trade Towns as previously rumored, and might even prefer to fire their head coach, Tom Thibodeau, or the team’s management, rather than ship off their franchise player to another team.
In an appearance earlier this week on The Russillo Show, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski talked about the rumored friction between Tom Thibodeau and Karl-Anthony Towns, and the possibility that Towns could be traded to another team. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the purported issues were said to have started when the Timberwolves fired strength and conditioning coach Vince Legarza, whom Towns had a good working relationship with. Reports have gone back and forth as to whether the Timberwolves are actively shopping the versatile 22-year-old center around or not, but as “Woj” said on The Russillo Show (quotes c/o Uproxx), it’s doubtful that the Timberwolves would want to see Towns go elsewhere for the 2018-19 NBA season
“I think their owner would trade management/the coach before he would trade Karl-Anthony Towns. I don’t think they would allow that. I just don’t believe they’d allow that kind of decision.”
While Wojnarowski stressed that Karl-Anthony Towns does not sound like someone whom the Timberwolves would want to trade, he hinted that Andrew Wiggins, a former first-overall draft pick who was Minnesota’s third offensive option in 2017-18 behind Towns and Jimmy Butler, might be the player teams would have the most interest in acquiring.
“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 contract] guys,” Wojnarowski continued.
As clarified by NBC Sports, it’s hardly likely that the Timberwolves would want to get rid of Thibodeau, who helped lead Minnesota to a 16-game improvement in the 2017-18 NBA season, and led the Timberwolves to their first postseason appearance since 2004. The publication added that Wojnarowski’s comments bring up an “odd dynamic,” as Thibodeau had coached Butler on the Chicago Bulls, and it would make sense to keep Thibodeau in order to ensure Butler doesn’t leave via free agency when his contract comes up. As for the possible Wiggins trade, NBC Sports wrote that it might be worth looking into, even if it might be hard to trade someone with a five-year, $148 million guaranteed contract that takes effect in 2018-19.
Although his numbers were slightly down in 2017-18, Karl-Anthony Towns played in his first All-Star game earlier this year as the Minnesota Timberwolves enjoyed their best season in over a decade. According to his Basketball Reference page, Towns averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, and shot 54.5 percent from the field, including an impressive 42.1 percent clip from beyond the three-point line.