Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Discussing Max Extension

The Timberwolves and star center Karl-Anthony Towns have engaged in discussions about a possible maximum-salary rookie scale extension, according to Michael Scotto and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Towns, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, is extension-eligible for the first time this offseason. He and the Wolves have until the day before the 2018/19 regular season begins to work out a potential deal, though if the two sides are talking about a max contract, negotiations may not need to drag out that long.

[RELATED: Players Eligible For Rookie Scale Extensions In 2018]

Over the course of his first three NBA seasons, Towns has established himself as one of the NBA’s best frontcourt scorers. After averaging 25.1 PPG and 12.3 RPG in 2016/17, Towns’ scoring numbers dipped a little in 2017/18 to 21.3 PPG. However, he was more efficient than ever, setting new career bests in FG% (.545) and 3PT% (.421).

If the Wolves and Towns agree to terms on a max deal, it would be worth 25% of the cap in 2019/20, though the two sides could negotiate an agreement tentatively worth up to 30%. The big man would have to meet certain criteria – likely earning an All-NBA nod – in the 2018/19 season to qualify for that more lucrative extension.

Based on a $109MM projected cap for 2019/20, a max deal for Towns would start at $27.25MM and would be worth approximately $158MM over five years, just like the extension Devin Booker signed with the Suns a few days ago. For the Wolves, it could create some interesting cap decisions going forward.

Andrew Wiggins is already on a long-term, maximum-salary contract and Gorgui Dieng is owed $16MM+ in 2019/20 and $17MM+ in 2020/21. Minnesota would also have to consider a new deal for Jimmy Butler, assuming he wants to stick around when he becomes eligible for free agency next summer. And Jeff Teague has a $19MM player option for ’19/20.

If Teague opts in and both Butler and Towns get max contracts, the Wolves would be on the hook for $122MM+ for those five players next season. Given those increasing roster costs – and repeated whispers of possible tension between the Wolves’ stars – the club may eventually consider moving one or more of its highly-paid players.

If Towns doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension this summer, he’d be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019, at which point Minnesota would be able to match any offer he receives.

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8 thoughts on “Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Discussing Max Extension

  1. dust44

    Minnesota made a huge mistake trading for Butler and Teague. A lineup of Dunn, LaVine, Wiggins, Markkanen and Towns seems more fun to watch. Even tho they would b pretty high in salary right now with LaVines extension and Towns up coming extension and Wiggins Max deal. But I do think they would honestly b a better more cohesive group. They should fire Tibs tho. That’s there real problem

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    • Codeeg

      Wolves should’ve traded Wiggins for Butler. They would’ve been doing themselves a favor.

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    • x%sure

      The Butler trade looked good at the time. But someone should have warned the owner about maxxing Wiggins!

      If MIN can get someone interested in Dieng, there is backup… Gibson, rook Bates-Diop, FA Tolliver. The financials are not Dieng’s fault but he’s gotta go.

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  2. skrockij89

    Wiggins needs to go. Thibs signed him to a max contract when it wasn’t warrant at the time. He could’ve been a RFA and the wolves would’ve had the leverage when most of teams were over the cap anyways. This just shows Thibs shouldn’t be making any financial decisions.

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    • x%sure

      I don’t think people get what negative trade value means, or that Wiggins qualifies. It means if someone asked for him, you hand him over free with a draft choice parting gift.
      I just don’t think it will happen. His talent makes fans dream.

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  3. I agree with dust44, without the trade I think Minny might as well be better, at least better chemistry. But I don’t see what they have to discuss KAT deserves the max as a min, so is no arguing give him the max or more if you can, like the keys to the city.. whatever it takes to keep him happy.

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  4. hiflew

    Minnesota might as well spend their entire salary cap on 5 players. That’s pretty close to Thibs’ complete rotation.

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