Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center/power forward Karl-Anthony Towns may not be every fan’s cup of tea. In fact, he is one of the more polarizing NBA stars playing in the league today. He has an incredible range of skills on the basketball court, allowing him to do so much at a level that is far better than his contemporaries. And the Timberwolves roster has relied on him to do so to help the team find success.
But there is the other side of Karl-Anthony Towns. He is a very passionate player who loves to win. But due to the fact that so much was placed on his shoulders so early in his NBA career, he became a bit of a pariah. Team struggles were unfairly laid at his feet. His passionate play was cited for undisciplined play that resulted in turnovers and excessive personal fouls.
KAT can’t do it alone
And there was the other matter, too. The team struggled with him at the helm. It was not until the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to unite him on the basketball court with another NBA star that the team began to show signs of real success.
In June 2017, the Minnesota Timberwolves found a long-elusive playoff berth only after the team traded PG Kris Dunn, wing Zach Levine, and rookie power forward Lauri Markkanen to the Chicago Bulls for shooting guard Jimmy Butler and center Justin Patton.
But that willingness to get ‘good,’ instantly was costly to the Timberwolves in two ways. It forced the Timberwolves to prematurely trade away three players who would themselves become very productive NBA players in their own time.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves roster began to experience a great deal of internal friction. So much so that star Karl-Anthony Towns made it clear that he would not sign an extension with the team unless SG Jimmy Butler was traded.