Stack up contracts: Jaylen Brown, Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to face the unending stream of NBA trade scenarios due to the imminent spike for Karl-Anthony Towns’ Super Max contract extension, it seems that the rest of the NBA is beginning to catch up. For what it’s worth, that is simply the cost of doing business in the NBA. Great players get great big paychecks.

In the NBA, the cost of doing business is going up rapidly. NBA elites are rare, and their price reflects not just what they can do on the basketball court, but also how well they fill the seats in their arenas. But most of all, it also encompasses the belief that an NBA team has in their chances to build an NBA Championship team around that player.

For the Boston Celtics, that reality came in the form of a Super Max contract extension for Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics are going to be up against it pretty quickly, aren’t they? And as far as I can tell, nobody is screaming at the top of their lungs over the Boston Celtics’ need to offload any of their max contract players yet.

Look at the Lakers lavish deal for Davis

And then there are the Los Angeles Lakers, who recently came to an agreement to extend Anthony Davis:

So what does this look like in direct comparison? Let’s take a look:

  • Player                               2023-24   2024-25  2025-26  2026-27  2027-28
  • Karl-Anthony Towns     $36M        $49.7M     $53.7M    $57.7M    $61.6M
  • Jaylen Brown                   $28.5M    $49.7M     $53.7M    $57.7M    $61.6M
  • Anthony Davis                $40.6M     $43.2M     $54.7M    $59M       $63.4M

The finances of NBA teams will become quite complicated rapidly as more and more team slide into those Super Max deals to compensate their star players. So does the rush to push Minnesota Timberwolves star power forward Karl-Anthony Towns to another NBA team roster make as much sense?  Are Celtics fans bombarded with a myriad of trade scenarios to place Jaylen Brown on another NBA team’s roster?  Are the Los Angeles Lakers fans trying to manage a daily dose of multiple deals involving Anthony Davis being dealt to another team?

Or is this simply a phenomenon plaguing the Timberwolves fanbase, because the team was unable to sort out everything in 29 regular season games in the 2022-23 NBA season?

While it’s fun to entertain the concept of trading a key player because we tend to envision the most optimistic outcomes when we unleash our imagination. But, is Karl-Anthony Towns’ contract so outlandishly out of touch with the NBA’s fair market value? Or did he simply arrive first at the next plateau of NBA payroll payments?

Hot. Ranking the 15 worst Timberwolves starters of the Kevin Garnett Era. light

With more and more contracts reaching the same or higher levels of compensation, the Minnesota Timberwolves contract extension for Karl-Anthony Towns is becoming more and more fairly priced all of the time. In the end, we should continue to keep an eye on the Timberwolves. But in all honesty, unless he has another substandard year, I would start to lower the expectation of the Timberwolves trading Towns at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.