Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
The conflicting wave of reports that cite the Minnesota Timberwolves involved in NBA rumors continues to come at a rapid pace. While there is no evidence that the Timberwolves have decided to pull the plug on the Twin Timberwolves Towers strategy, that is not the only factor that may have modified how the Timberwolves approach the 2023-24 NBA season and beyond.
There are two new NBA regulation changes that have a direct bearing on forcing the Timberwolves to rethink how the team proceeds. The first NBA Regulation change is the amplification of penalties that apply to any NBA team that exceeds the annual salary cap limit. In short, the Super Max deal that is in place for Karl-Anthony Towns is a huge hurdle to the Timberwolves front office that is currently pursuing an extension for SF Jaden McDaniels.
And that could paint the Timberwolves front office into an either-KAT or McDaniels corner this season. But that is not the only NBA rule change that will impact the Timberwolves this season. There is also the new NBA rule that regulates how often an NBA player can be rested over the course of the season. As of right now, the Timberwolves are significantly impacted as the team has four players whose value triggers the NBA monitoring of how often players rest over the course of the 2023-24 NBA season.
Timberwolves are incentivized to act before the season’s end
Does it make sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves to pursue a trade package before the team translates postseason potential into actual NBA Playoff appearances? Based on the recent NBA regulation changes, perhaps the Timberwolves are more incentivized to trade Towns than ever.
In fact, the consensus right now is not whether the Timberwolves will trade KAT, but when. We know that more and more NBA Insiders, analysts, and pundits are going on record to suggest that the long-standing relationship between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Towns is on borrowed time:
There are two schools of thought that, for the time being, are opposing one another in terms of how the Timberwolves approach the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. One theory is that the Timberwolves must allow KAT to reclaim his vitality before entertaining any trade talks, which also serves to inflate any and all possible trade value he may attract.
The other school of thought is that the Timberwolves need to assemble whatever roster the front office is most comfortable with that will allow the team to extend Jaden McDaniels and keep the young core of this team together. In that scenario, trading Karl-Anthony Towns sooner rather than later is ideal.
The next question is: Which NBA team gives the Wolves the most value and is the best landing spot for KAT?