So… some stuff got written over at The Athletic recently and that piece included two nouns with an adjective smashed in-between. Normal, right? (Say yes). But this specific word combination is very sensitive to Minnesotans who still want to believe that their state is just as good as any in the country (it is). When uttered together in the same fashion previously, it’s led to the departure of blossoming stars like Stephon Marbury, Chuck Knoblach, and most recently (and egregiously), Jimmy Butler.
Nouns: “Karl-Anthony Towns”, “Minnesota”
The Warriors have been monitoring Karl-Anthony Towns’ situation in Minnesota. He’s under contract until 2023-24 but has less reason than Antetokounmpo to be thrilled with his team’s trajectory. This was a topic among multiple team executives at the recent G League Showcase, with a few relaying word that Towns is unhappy in Minnesota. The Wolves currently sit at 13th in the Western Conference, two spots ahead of the gap-year Warriors, looking at another lost season. While the Wolves might dream of a scenario where Russell teams up with his good friend Towns, the Warriors have a differing vision of how a trade between the two franchises could shake out.
Alright alright, I’m done antagonizing. I came here to make other Timberwolves feel better, not worse. You can step off the ledge now, Karl-Anthony Towns will be wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves warmup and uniform for the foreseeable future, which I will put out to the 2021 offseason (1.5 seasons from now), at the earliest. There are a few different reasons why this is the case, so again… take a step back and grab my hand.
KAT just signed a max extension and is currently watching that real NBA money funnel into his money accounts for the first time. Cash doesn’t seem to tickle his fancy like it does for others. The same goes for our other max player (gross), Andrew Wiggins. But, it’s worth noting because I can’t imagine KAT is THAT unhappy right now. $27+ Million dollars over the course of one season (with another $100M+ lined up over then next 4) is life-changing money. Win or loss… those game checks would put a smile on any guy (or gal)’s face.
He Love Us, He Really Loves Us…
Beyond the money, Karl loves it in Minnesota. He’s expressed that in just about every way possible, for the short amount of time he’s resided here. Would he like a warmer climate…? Probably. Would he like to be closer to bigger TV spots or award and late night shows for some extra pub…? Maybe.
But even if Towns lived in a city more suited for superstardom, I like to think he’d still be the same guy. He’s just real like that. And real KAT likes to work on his craft and play video games. The lights of a “major markets” don’t seem to sparkle as brightly for him, especially any that might hinder the ability or focus he wants to dedicate basketball.
He’s Bought In
Have you heard or read any of the quotes KAT has given for this new Timberwolves brain trust? If you haven’t, you should. He’s done nothing but praise the path that Glen Taylor took, after sending Tom Thibodeau packing. He campaigned for Ryan Saunders to have his interim tag lifted when Gersson Rosas and Co. took over and he has repeatedly lauded the change in strategy with this new regime.
I’d say he “trusts the process” but Philadelphia ruined that saying as if it was their city after a big sporting event. Karl is responsible for a lot of what has been put around him. It’s likely that neither Rosas nor Saunders would be in their positions if it wasn’t for Karl.
This Early Warning Should NOT Be Taken Lightly
While we don’t have to worry about KAT forcing his way out of town yet, I’m sure their are some rumors to the whispers Ethan Strauss is reporting. The Timberwolves should take it very seriously and I’m sure they are. If this situation gets to the point where KAT forces out… this franchise is done. Just light it on fire and send it to Seattle for rebuilding.
This needs to get fixed by the end of this offseason. We need to be able to see the wins that will pile up in upcoming years or KAT will absolutely leave and nobody will be able to blame him for it. While he isn’t leaving yet… the clock has officially started.
What Can Be Done?
Well, the only way to get this cart back on the tracks and heading in the right direction, is to bring in more talent. Look, this is the NBA. You need multiple top-20 individual talents to have any chance of winning. Then, you need to hope that talent can mesh and become a team that can last the grind of an NBA championship run. Andrew Wiggins isn’t it, I promise.
We need another star and it’s going to be difficult to lure one here when Andrew Wiggins is taking up max money. He’s improved a lot this season… is it enough to get a franchise to take that warted, disgusting contract off of our hands? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question.
The fastest and most efficient way to the top of the West, is making the correct decision on a top-3 draft pick and that’s why I’ve been calling for the tank already, for a handful of games now. We aren’t getting lucky in the draft lottery so we need to finish at the bottom of the NBA to make it happen. Nobody wants to watch their team lose but I’m willing to make the sacrifices it takes for future championships.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan
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