The Minnesota Timberwolves are hurtling toward a brick wall. That wall has been built up piece by piece: handing veteran PF/C Karl-Anthony Towns a supermax extension, trading everything that wasn’t nailed down for C Rudy Gobert (but not SF Jaden McDaniels!), the new CBA putting punitive penalties in place for high-spending teams, and most recently the extension for Naz Reid. Soon bricks will be added when Anthony Edwards and McDaniels agree to contract extensions.
Add it all up, and you have a brick wall: the Timberwolves are in line to pay their centers over $90 million next season, and a whopping $110 million in 2024-25 when Towns’ supermax extension kicks in. That’s an unfathomable amount of money for one position, let alone the least-versatile position in the league.
The Timberwolves have to trade their All-Star center
To try and avoid their fate, the Timberwolves need to trade either Rudy Gobert or Karl-Anthony Towns. Given how much they gave up for Gobert and Towns’ age and skillset, it likely makes the most sense for the Wolves to move Towns.
Yet an offense-first center who doesn’t protect the rim at a high level is a difficult fit on most winning teams. For a team to value Towns enough to trade for him, they need rim protection from a non-center; think Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic on the Denver Nuggets.
One team, in particular, comes to mind when considering elite rim protection from the power forward position. Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies has the defensive ability to pair well with Towns. Could the Grizzlies put together a suitable package for the smooth-shooting big man?
Let’s build a potential deal and see how it looks.