While this is the range of games that the Timberwolves were able to get from Karl-Anthony Towns in the 2022-23 NBA season, a repeat will all but destroy his trade value. After all, the most valuable ability in any professional athlete’s career is availability followed closely by durability. Right now, both characteristics are being questioned extensively about Karl-Anthony Towns.
At 21-40 games, this Timberwolves roster is going to lean oh-so heavily upon backup forward Kyle Anderson, just as the team did so often in the 2022-23 NBA season. That is not necessarily the worst-case scenario, as the Timberwolves developed a great deal of chemistry with Anderson in the starting line-up.
While Slo-Mo cannot match KAT’s scoring prowess, he does bring plenty of other attributes that help the team. For starters, his 4.9 assists per game was the third-best mark for the Timberwolves last season. Pair that with his 41.0 percent shooting from the perimeter, and suddenly the picture of just how effective Slo-Mo can be on the basketball court comes into focus.
Still, at 21-40 games out of Towns, the Timberwolves are likely destined to compete in the NBA Play-In Tournament at the end of the 2023-24 NBA season once more.
The Timberwolves hope that KAT can play a minimum of 41+ games this season. If that happens, several positive events can take place. For starters, the Minnesota Timberwolves will not be scrambling to fill in the frontcourt should center Rudy Gobert need a rest day to nurse nagging minor injuries. And the Timberwolves can play it smart, rotating Towns and Gobert in different games to ensure that the team has at least one All-Star center starting.
Perhaps more importantly, the Timberwolves roster will not be forced to run on fumes. That led to the team letting up when a less-than-successful opponent appeared on the team’s schedule. Ironically, it was the Timberwolves’ struggles against struggling teams last season that kept the team stuck at or around .500.
But as Karl-Anthony Towns’ availability rises to over 50 percent of the scheduled games in the 2023-24 NBA season, the team’s rate of winning games escalates rapidly. Karl-Anthony Towns averages more than 20 points per game, even when he is struggling. If he suits up and plays more than half of the games this season, it’s reasonable to expect him to put up 23+ points per game.
At that level, the Timberwolves are likely looking at 43-47 wins.