Karl-Anthony Towns just sealed his fate with Conference Finals collapse

With the conclusion of Minnesota's crushing loss to Dallas in the West Finals, KAT may have already sealed his fate.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

An incredible season has come to an end for the Minnesota Timberwolves. All year long, fans watched as this group stacked wins, broke records and made history. The Wolves earned their second-most regular season wins in franchise history, returning to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 20 seasons.

It was the most prosperous year in Minnesota since the 2003-04 season when Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves to within one round of the NBA Finals as well. Even while playing in an ultra competitive Western Conference, the Wolves dominated their competition with stifling defense and rose to the top behind the star power of Anthony Edwards.

After coming back from 20 points down in Game 7 of the second round to defeat the defending champions, Minnesota was unable to take care of business against the Mavericks. The offensive firepower of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and the chemistry they possess with their bigs was too much for the Wolves' struggling offense to overcome.

With the offseason arriving, the Timberwolves' front office will be moving forward with the goal of improving this team and getting them right back in the conference finals again this time next year. To do that, they will be taking a hard look at everyone on the roster, including Karl-Anthony Towns. After seeing his inconsistent performance in the playoffs and especially his subpar output in the WCF, it is possible he could be fodder for a trade somewhere down the line.

KAT's struggles against Dallas could lead to his departure

Let's be honest for a second about KAT. He receives far too much hate, and for what? All he has ever done is be loyal to Minnesota and stick it out through all the losing seasons, giving back to the community while representing the team with pride. It is utterly ridiculous that NBA fans wish failure on him for something as trivial as how his voice sounds.

At the same time, I do think there are some valid basketball criticisms of his game. Towns has a bad habit of committing undisciplined fouls, which can take him out of the game and disrupt the team's flow on offense. He averaged 3.46 fouls per game in the 2024 playoffs, including three games where he committed five or more fouls.

KAT also has a tendency to bounce between hot and cold with his shooting accuracy. For example, Game 4 against Dallas represented one of his best games of the playoffs, as he scored 25 points on 69% shooting and knocked down four of his five three-point attempts. In the game before that, he finished with 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting, which led to Minnesota falling into an 0-3 series hole.

It is these inconsistent and sometimes unfocused performances in the playoffs that could give the Timberwolves pause about Towns' future with the franchise. Also of note, and perhaps the even bigger factor, is that KAT's extension is set to kick in next season, and he will be earning a base salary north of $49 million, the highest on the team.

In evaluating all their options on the table and especially considering the strong play of Naz Reid this past season, Minnesota may want to consider at least exploring the trade market to see what they can get for Karl-Anthony Towns. The financial restrictions of retaining him could be significant, and the five-game series with Dallas was a reminder that he can be up-and-down when it matters most.