After discussing rumors of potential tension between Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves on a podcast last week, Brian Windhorst appeared on ESPN to further address the situation in Minnesota, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. According to Windhorst, rival teams around the NBA appear to be keeping a close eye on Towns.
“Let’s just put it this way: I didn’t make this up,” Windhorst said, per Feldman. “People in the league have been saying, ‘You know, maybe we should call and take a look and see what’s going on with Karl Towns.’ Now, he and Tom Thibodeau did not have the greatest season together. I think that’s far to say. They recently fired Vince Legarza, who’s his strength and conditioning coach – or he’s actually his workout coach – with the Wolves and, according to The Athletic, didn’t tell him about it. He found out when everybody else did.
“I don’t think that the Wolves are looking to trade him,” Windhorst continued. “But teams are definitely sniffing around as if maybe there’s something here.”
Windhorst also alluded to a report from back in January about the Clippers calling the Timberwolves and offering Blake Griffin in a deal for Towns before they ultimately sent Griffin to Detroit. At the time, the proposal seemed like an out-of-nowhere Hail Mary by the Clips, but the latest rumblings out of Minnesota put that offer into a clearer context.
According to Windhorst, the Timberwolves have already received some calls on Towns, including that one from the Clippers, and they’ll likely keep getting more inquiries. Still, that doesn’t mean that anything will happen on this front. Towns is one of the most valuable young players in the NBA, and Minnesota is well positioned to keep him under team control for years to come.
The former first overall pick will be extension-eligible for the first time during this offseason, and fourth-year players rarely turn down maximum-salary contract offers. Even if the Wolves decide not to put such an offer on the table this year, or Towns passes on it, he’d be a restricted free agent in 2019, giving Minnesota the opportunity to match any offer sheet he signs.