Karl-Anthony Towns does not want to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Karl-Anthony Towns wants to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Besides, trading him wouldn’t make sense, and it’s not happening.

Reports surfaced on Dec. 30 that multiple executives around the NBA believed that Karl-Anthony Towns is unhappy playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and may look to request a trade in the near future.

These rumors trickled in right around the time that the Wolves’ wretched losing streak reached 11 games. After beating the Sacramento Kings by a single point in double-overtime that week, the Wolves scored only 88 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers to cap off a 1-12 record through their previous 13 games.

It would make sense that Towns would be upset with the team and want to leave the disappointment that is the Timberwolves. But I’m here to tell you that Towns is not leaving Minnesota this year, and it is not because Gersson Rosas and the front office is holding him hostage and denying a trade request. It is because he wants to be in Minnesota.

Of course he was upset with the losing streak. Everybody was. That shouldn’t be news to anyone.

Now, fast forward less than two weeks since the trade rumors and the Timberwolves have won four of their last six games. The only two losses have come at the hands of  Dillon Brooks and the kryptonite that is the Memphis Grizzlies and a two-point loss to the NBA-leading 34-6 Bucks in Milwaukee sans both Towns and teammate Andrew Wiggins.

The team’s defensive rating is currently sitting at 108.1, good for No. 15 in the NBA according to NBA.com. However, since the rumors came out, the Timberwolves are first in the Western Conference with a 100.8 defensive rating and the second-best mark overall, trailing only the Orlando Magic and their stout 97.1 defensive rating.

The difference between the possibility of Towns requesting a trade and star players such as Anthony Davis doing so, as he did last season, comes down to one thing: contract length. When he requested a trade a year ago, Davis had one year remaining on his deal with a player option for the 2020-21 season. Towns is currently in the first year of the five-year contract that he signed with the Timberwolves.

If Towns did want out, he would not have much leverage on his side due to the length of his deal. Minnesota would not have to honor a trade request and it is unimaginable that Towns would sit out multiple years during the beginning of the prime of his career.

There is no evidence that Towns has wanted out of Minnesota. When we waited out Anthony Davis’ trade situation last season, we saw how disengaged Davis looked on the bench and how unconnected he was from the rest of the New Orleans Pelicans roster. Throughout Towns being sidelined, we have seen him constantly engaging with his teammates, celebrating big plays, and being the ultimate hype man on the bench. He does not look like someone who wants out of his current situation.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks and The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski have each reported that they does not believe the trade rumors about Minnesota’s star big man. Here are some of Marks’ comments:

"“I don’t see anything. I don’t really see anything in what’s going on in Minnesota. First, Towns is on the first year of a five-year contract. If this was year three, similar to maybe with what happened in New Orleans with Anthony Davis then I could certainly understand that.“It’s year one of Towns’ (contract) and it’s year one of (head coach) Ryan Saunders and Gersson Rosas as the head of basketball operations so I don’t see any chance that Karl-Anthony Towns gets moved by the trade deadline and I think they’ve got some years to figure that out as far as what that roster is going to be.”"

Towns has been a leader of this team this season and has shown his support for new front office boss Gersson Rosas throughout the offseason and the regular season. Towns understands the cap situation that Rosas had to deal with this summer and will continue to deal with in coming years. He knew this would not be a year to compete at a high level and would be about setting this team up for years to come.

There is no chance Towns is ready to give up on this team after seeing their commitment to creating a culture and system that will lead to winning in the future. He will give Rosas a chance to surround him with talent and give Saunders a chance to implement an effective system offensively and defensively.

With the team switching gears and starting to win games with their suffocating defense, Towns should be happy and excited about the direction of this team.

Next. What could the 76ers offer for Robert Covington?. dark

Things seem to be turning around for Minnesota and Towns is reportedly close to recovering from his injury, including a near-return during Thursday’s win over Portland. He was ultimately held out of the game, there seems to be a chance he could come back for Saturday’s 4 p.m. tilt in Houston.