KAT: It’s “Championship Or Bust” After Gobert Trade

At a press conference to announce his super-max extension on Friday, Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said he is fully aware of the expectations the team has going forward after trading an enormous amount of assets for three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Championship or bust,” Towns said.

He elaborated further once the press conference was over.

When you make the trade that we made, that’s the reality. I’m not trying to sugarcoat,” Towns told Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. “You’ve got to think that. That’s really what’s on the table. I don’t think the fans would be accepting of [a goal of] a third-round elimination. … Let’s be real. The standards are high. The pressure is high. And that’s when we should all love to play basketball even more.”

As Rand writes, the idea that Minnesota would have such lofty goals even last summer, after a disappointing season saw the team finish 23-49, 13th in the West, might have seemed preposterous.

But things change quickly in the NBA, Rand notes. The Wolves won 46 games last season and made the playoffs for just the second time in the past 18 years, and now after acquiring a four-time All-NBA center, the bar for success has risen dramatically.

New president of basketball Tim Connelly said he was grateful that Towns was so eager to recommit to the only franchise he’s ever known.

For Karl, he’s seen a lot of tough days,” Connelly said, per Rand. “It was so exciting to hear how excited he was about Finchy (head coach Chris Finch) and his teammates and how quickly he was willing to get this done.”

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