Keeping the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar big man happy is one of the top goals of Wolves brass as the season begins to wind down.
The land of ice and snow isn’t known as a marquee free-agent destination. Tell me if you’ve heard that one before, Minnesota Timberwolves fans.
Long winters, a subdued nightlife, and zero coastline can make moving to the Twin Cities a hard sell. In the last 25 years, Minnesota has been home to two transcendent professional sports superstars: Randy Moss and Kevin Garnett. They were drafted, grew within their respective systems and elevated their team’s success.
Karl-Anthony Towns is poised to join that stage, as long as he sticks around.
This isn’t an alarmist piece, but player autonomy in the NBA is higher than ever. In many ways, that’s a good thing. Players are the draw, and the competition on the court has rewarded both casual and die-hard fans.
As the game continues to evolve, the Minnesota Timberwolves ought to do everything in their power to retain Karl-Anthony Towns, strive for the playoffs, and, eventually, maybe even win a championship. KAT is the dream modern NBA big man: long, strong, great from the 3-point line, and savvy in the paint. If the Timberwolves keep KAT happy, the Timberwolves keep KAT in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Timberwolves don’t have the best track record with the draft. Karl-Anthony Towns was a consensus No. 1 pick, but there was a slight collective unease amongst fans given the franchise’s luck in the past. Karl-Anthony Towns has showcased his talent and ability from day one. His potential to stratify the Minnesota Timberwolves as a contender is plausible as long as he and the team around him continue to grow and develop.
Karl-Anthony Towns is a generational talent
For the 2019-20 season, Towns is posting a career-high 26.5 points per game, has doubled his career 3-point attempts per contest to 7.9 while maintaining an elite 41 percent mark from deep, and has upped his assists per game to 4.6. His offensive production stands to go up as he is surrounded by better shooters, and his playmaking has been evident in his ability to find cutters and shooters out of double-teams.
In his fifth season, the best part is KAT isn’t even in his final form yet; he is just entering his prime. From a defensive standpoint, considered his biggest weakness, he is averaging career-bests in defensive field goal percentages, both overall and in the paint. With coaching and more comfort in the system, this should improve as well.
The long and short of it is Karl-Anthony Towns is a generational talent. The Timberwolves were fortunate to have a first-round pick finally pan out. KAT won’t become a free agent until 2024, and barring any colossal failures, that should give the organization time to build a contender.
The Timberwolves have learned from their mistake of not surrounding Kevin Garnett with young, up-and-coming talent.Gersson Rosas was aggressive in his pursuit of D’Angelo Russell, a young and talented point guard whose trajectory can coincide with KAT’s.
Take advantage of player fraternity
The Timberwolves’ signing of D’Angelo is a way to leverage the fraternity and camaraderie of the NBA in their favor.
As so many players have connected to join forces, it was smart for the organization to obtain one of Towns’ closest friends. Rosas has made it clear that he and the front office are determined to stay true to their intention of building a team around their best player. Rosas will not bamboozle KAT.
Off the court, Minnesota isn’t so bad. KAT has become a part of the greater community, convinced Kevin Garnett to come honor Prince last year, and even brought his best friend a coat when he arrived in the Twin Cities earlier this month.
Win without KAT
While KAT is injured indefinitely, it will be interesting to see what kind of lineups Ryan Saunders puts together, and what Russell can do as the leader of the team. We can expect Malik Beasley to play a crucial role while Karl-Anthony Towns heals, too. The time played without KAT will be a great opportunity for the backcourt to gel with a greater load of responsibility.
If the Timberwolves can eke out a couple of wins while KAT nurses his injury it will boost the team’s confidence and instill greater hope for the future. Winning cures all.
With an engaged front office, KAT’s best friend and an energized fanbase, the TImberwolves can keep KAT happy — and keep him in Minnesota.