Would the Wolves say yes?
Karl-Anthony Towns has been a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves for eight seasons, averaging over 20 points per game in every season but his rookie year, when he won Rookie of the Year. He is a three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA winner. At 6’11” he has shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range on strong volume, making him a truly unique player even in the modern NBA.
Trading Towns will be difficult, let alone a trade where the Wolves don’t get back premium draft capital or a young prospect with star-level upside. A deal like the one offered by Memphis might be viewed as a non-starter for Tim Connelly and the front office.
It shouldn’t be. Towns’ value is not at its highest, and it’s likely to only go down the longer he is shoehorned next to Rudy Gobert. The Wolves made a bet and it lost; they need to get out before the consequences get even worse. Few teams in the league are likely to even view Towns as positive value when you factor in his contract and his fit on their teams.
This deal breaks Towns’ salary into three pieces, players the Wolves can either keep for their own rotation or move on to another team much more easily. Luke Kennard can be a replacement for the Malik Beasley role as a movement shooter off the bench, and Brandon Clarke can be the fourth big behind Gobert, Naz Reid, and Kyle Anderson. Adams, they can move to another team in need of a center who gobbles rebounds.
This isn’t a slam dunk of a deal, and it’s possible that they could convince another team to bid higher. Would the New York Knicks beat this deal? Could the Atlanta Hawks talk themselves into something crazy? Would the Portland Trail Blazers make an offer? In the end, however, this deal saves them from the brick wall and lets them build a new group around Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. There are worse outcomes out there.