Minnesota Timberwolves: Could the Spurs trade for Karl-Anthony Towns?

Could the San Antonio Spurs put together a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns?

With the recent news that Minnesota Timberwolves’ star Karl-Anthony Towns could be disgruntled and looking at moving on, there will be no shortage of teams lining up to place a call to Gersson Rosas.

Of course, the Wolves won’t give up Towns for just anyone, and with four years left on his deal, it’s exceedingly unlikely that a trade takes place anytime soon.

That said, fanbases of other franchises are circling like sharks with blood in the water. Our friends over at Air Alamo proposed a deal that would send Towns to the San Antonio Spurs.

Let’s evaluate the potential haul the Wolves could receive in return for their superstar big man.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Potential Spurs offer for Karl-Anthony Towns

Here’s what Dylan Carter at Air Alamo is proposing.

Timberwolves Get
Derrick White
Jakob Poeltl
Rudy Gay
Draft Compensation
Spurs Get
Karl-Anthony Towns

And here’s his analysis, in part. Be sure to head over there to check out his entire write-up. (Dylan took a couple of shots at the Wolves in the piece, but we’ll overlook those…)

This is the only time in this article you’ll see Derrick White getting traded because quite frankly, most players aren’t worth giving up the rising star…

…To fill the Timberwolves’ vacancy at center, they get another defensive-minded player who can be a great pick-and-roll partner for Russell in Jakob Poeltl. Rudy Gay’s salary is implemented to fill the gap since White is still on a rookie deal worth pennies compared to his actual value. Of every trade in this piece, this is probably the biggest crapshoot of the bunch, but it’s worth considering for now and the future when a disgruntled star wants out.

There’s no doubt that Derrick White is an intriguing player. He just turned 26, is an above-average defender and shooter and has improved in each of his three years in the league.

However, White would have made a lot more sense as a trade target for the Wolves several months ago, before D’Angelo Russell was acquired at the February trade deadline. Now, he only has a year left on his rookie-scale deal and will be seeking an extension.

White played mostly off the ball this year for the first time in his pro career. While he’s only 6-foot-4, his 6-foot-8 wingspan helps matters quite a bit. He’s slightly bigger than Malik Beasley, who is about to hit free agency with some off-the-court questions lingering.

They’re different players, to be sure. In fact, as the superior defender and with a lower usage rate, White is arguably a better fit. While Beasley is a slightly better 3-point shooter and more dynamic in transition, White would be a better ball-mover and secondary playmaker in the halfcourt offense.

The concern is what the Wolves would be on the hook to pay for an extension to a player who has yet to have a star-level breakout. The potential is certainly there, but if we’re talking about a team with no Towns, that means that Russell and White would be the best two players, and his ceiling simply isn’t as high as Towns.

The other pieces offer little to no appeal. Jakob Poeltl would fill the vacancy created by Towns’ absence, but he’s essentially a defensive big and effective roller with no ability to stretch the floor. Rudy Gay is included as a salary match, and Spurs draft picks are never too appealing given their consistency.

While White would be a perfect fit with both Russell and Towns, replacing Towns with White wouldn’t be a palatable outcome for the Wolves when they’re under no real pressure to move Towns.

Not yet, at least. Check back in a couple of years…