With less than a month until the NBA offseason arrives for all 30 teams, preparations are already being made for new blockbuster trades and heavy roster shakeup around the league. After all the pieces they moved around in 2022-23, the Minnesota Timberwolves are more focused on retaining their current group.
However, they could still end up in the middle of trade dealings if the right situation presents itself. As always, one of the top names from Minnesota in offseason rumors will be Karl-Anthony Towns. The versatile big man will be entering his ninth season in the league, and is still a top-two player on the Timberwolves’ roster.
Management will likely want to retain Towns for the upcoming season, if for no other reason than to have a full 82-game sample size of KAT and Rudy Gobert sharing the floor. General Manager Tim Connelly is still determined to prove that the two can work together.
The Minnesota Timberwolves could make a trade with a desperate team.
If the Wolves did end up moving Towns, it would likely be in response to a trade proposal from a desperate team willing to make an overpay. It just so happens that the Portland Trail Blazers appear poised to throw out those type of offers this summer.
With Portland desperate to keep their (hypothetical) championship window with Damian Lillard open, it seems that they are willing to do everything possible to bring in win-now pieces, including trading away their third overall pick in next month’s draft.
As such, they may be willing to make rather short-sighted moves simply to appease Lillard. One hypothetical trade would involve them sending the Timberwolves Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons along with a first-round pick in exchange for Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Timberwolves would replicate the Kevin Love trade in this deal with Portland.
It is important to note that Karl-Anthony Towns is ineligible for trade until June 23, which is the day after the 2023 NBA Draft will take place. If the Blazers were to put a deal like this on the Wolves’ table, it is one they would be wise to jump for.
In several ways, Minnesota making a trade like this would be reminiscent of the 2014 deal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland. In that scenario, the Timberwolves sent their best player since Kevin Garnett to the Cavaliers in a three-team trade that netted them Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. They sacrificed one of their cornerstones in favor of building for the future.
Minnesota agreeing to this imagined trade with Portland would similarly net them another promising young player in Anfernee Simons. Acquiring Simons would allow the Wolves to insert him into the starting lineup next to Anthony Edwards, where the two would create a lethal one-two scoring punch. In this scenario, Mike Conley is running point while Jaden McDaniels slides to the four.
Adding in the draft compensation to recoup some of the assets lost in the Rudy Gobert trade makes this proposal an easy decision for the Timberwolves. If Minnesota is open to trading Karl-Anthony Towns, it would be smart to send him elsewhere before his supermax extension kicks in after next season. Ultimately, a trade like this would be the best situation they could hope for.