Pass or Pursue: 3 potential Karl-Anthony Towns Timberwolves trades

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves rumors Julius Randle Karl-Anthony Towns NBA Trade Rumors
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Trade Scenario III: Stephen A Smith – Julius Randle

The fact is that so many have thrown their hat into the ring in spitballing NBA Trade scenarios that it has become popular for everyone to take a stab at manufacturing a trade proposal.

And even ESPN’s Stephen A Smith is getting into the mix. While I personally never embrace Smith (or any talking head as legitimate sports news), we would be remiss if we did not explore this trade scenario. So, what does he propose?

Should the Timberwolves entertain a trade scenario in which the Timberwolves part ways with PF Karl-Anthony Towns with the return of Julius Randle? What would a trade like that look like? Well to make the dollars and sense work out, the exchange would likely take the shape of the following trade package:

Reasons to pass

At first blush, it appears as though the Timberwolves are getting a huge haul, but if you dive deeper into the players in this trade, you find that the Knicks are simply trying to significantly upgrade their post-season roster.  But the greater challenge for the Timberwolves in this exchange is the drop in defense.

If the Timberwolves are falling behind this season, does it make sense to further derail their playoff hopes in 2024 for the chance to regroup and try again the following season? It’s a solid reason to consider waiving this trade on its way.

Reasons to pursue

With fading hopes of holding the roster together and a secondary priority to get younger to build a compatible roster around All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards, the trade has several intriguing qualities not found in some of the other trade scenarios that have surfaced over the years.

This trade may improve the New York Knicks’ chances of winning games in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, but it gives a new lease on life for the Timberwolves’ future as a whole. Power forward Julius Randle has a more traditional 4 background, while PG Immanuel Quickley could evolve into a true point guard complement to Anthony Edwards. While the Timberwolves would only have a rotational role for R.J. Barrett, the team could even consider a secondary trade to add a stronger perimeter shooter.

Final Verdict: Pursue