Trading Karl-Anthony Towns Could Be the Next Move for the Minnesota Timberwolves

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Trading Karl-Anthony Towns Could Be the Next Move for the Minnesota Timberwolves


Trading Karl-Anthony Towns Could Be the Next Move for the Minnesota Timberwolves


After an impressive 2021-2022 campaign, the Minnesota Timberwolves went all in during the offseason in hopes of leveling up to legitimate contenders. They finished the season off at 46-36, while giving the second seeded Memphis Grizzlies a fight in round one. They looked to be one piece away, and they gambled on trading for All-NBA center Rudy Gobert. After trading multiple pieces who were proven to be winning players along with a historic amount of draft capital, the new look Wolves went into the season experimenting with something new.

Former first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns has played the center position his entire career, but his skill-set should allow him to be an effective four. Alongside Gobert, Minnesota gambled on Towns playing the Anthony Davis or Giannis Antetokounmpo role at power forward with his versatile offensive skill set. This is a front-court that could work out, however, all the questions surrounding the fit have outweighed the positives thus far into the season.

The third piece of Minnesota’s trio, Anthony Edwards, has been held back due to the frontcourt. The offense has struggled thus far, and with Edwards as the engine. He’s struggled to find openings to the rim thus far due to both Towns and Gobert clogging the paint. This frontcourt has minimized Edwards’ potential third-year breakout season tremendously, and it hasn’t been made up for with Towns not tapping into his true upside.

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Along with that, guard D’Angelo Russell’s fit on the team makes matters even worse. Despite exhibiting high-level passing and pick-and-roll initiating, his combination of ball dominance and efficiency issues as a scorer makes it a whole lot harder for the Wolves to find their footing offensively. One positive thus far has been Minnesota’s bench, with pieces such as Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell, and Kyle Anderson knowing their roles on offense and playing within the rhythm of the team. However, if the starters can’t find that rhythm themselves, it brings a big problem to the team.

This is an experiment worth trying out, but it’s been underwhelming so far to say the least. Tallying a 10-9 record to start the season is not what Minnesota expected when sacrificing part of their future to acquire Gobert, but he’s simply not the problem. In fact, no one is on their own. However, the combination of Russell, Edwards, Towns and Gobert has looked iffy, and if they end the season as a low-end playoff team, they need to make a change right away.

The most logical option would be to trade Karl-Anthony Towns. This isn’t a move that Minnesota would make to kickstart a rebuild, as they still should aim for the playoffs to continue to give Edwards experience. However, if Minnesota dealt him away for multiple high-level role players along with draft compensation. This is a move that can get Minnesota back to playing elite, contending basketball once again while setting up their future simultaneously.

A potential Russell deal could be in the works as well. If he bought in and used the majority of his energy on playmaking, he could be a valuable piece. However, Minnesota would be moving him for the same reason they’d move Towns- get a high level role player along with a potential pick. 

A team of Edwards, Gobert, and three-and-D options is a much safer route if this experiment doesn’t succeed. Letting Edwards run the offense to expand as both a creator and playmaker helps his development tremendously in the long-run, and giving him an elite level screen-setter in Gobert opens up lanes for him tremendously. This combined with bodies that can hit threes and defend is a recipe for success, as this is really the way basketball is moving now.


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