Since the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors are circulating that the Boston Celtics are active on the trade market, searching for an ideal replacement for Al Horford. In the past months, the Celtics have already been linked to several big men who are expected to be available on the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. As of now, one of the most intriguing trade targets for the Celtics is Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In his recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created several trade scenarios involving Towns. In the deal that would send him to Boston, Swartz suggested that the Celtics could offer a trade package including Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Carsen Edwards, Robert Williams III, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Towns and Gorgui Dieng. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Trading all those assets would undeniably be a tough decision for the Celtics, but it would definitely be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Towns’ caliber. As Swartz noted, the potential acquisition of Towns would enable the Celtics to counter dominant big men from other Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.
“The price, of course, would be steep. Minnesota should justifiably ask for either Tatum or Jaylen Brown as a starting point. The former has made a big jump in Year 3, giving the Celtics 21.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals in his 34.1 minutes per game. Still, Tatum alone isn’t enough for Towns. Edwards and Williams would give the Timberwolves a scoring spark in the backcourt and an elite shot-blocker to build around, and Hayward (16.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists) could help Minnesota stay competitive now before turning into a massive expiring salary ($34.2 million player option) next season.”
Towns is yet to reach his full potential but right now, he already established himself as an All-Star caliber talent in the league. Aside from his ability to defend dominant big men, Towns is also a very reliable scoring option, incredible rebounder, facilitator, quality rim protector, and floor-spacer. This season, the 24-year-old center is averaging 26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.0 steal while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the deal would be a no-brainer for the Timberwolves. Instead of keeping an unhappy superstar on their roster, the suggested trade with the Celtics would allow the Timberwolves to acquire three young and promising talents – Tatum, Edwards, and Williams – who could all be part of their long-term plan. The inclusion of Hayward in the deal may only be for salary-matching purposes, but he would give the Timberwolves another reliable scoring option and a great mentor to their young core.