JULY 7: Towns has officially signed the contract, according to a team press release.
“I couldn’t be prouder to continue my commitment to this franchise and community for years to come,” Towns said. “Minnesota has become my home and I am excited to continue making the fans proud to support the Timberwolves. My first seven years in the league, it has been an amazing journey. It all started with Flip Saunders taking a chance on me and now here we are. I look forward to all the achievements that are ahead for our team and the Timberwolves fanbase.”
The deal will begin in 2024/25 and will be worth 35% of that season’s salary cap, with 8% raises in subsequent seasons. Since the ’24/25 cap figure isn’t yet known, neither is the amount of Towns’ extension, but Wojnarowski projects it to be worth about $224MM over four years.
The signing is something of a no-brainer for a Minnesota club on the rise. Towns, still just 26, enjoyed something of a comeback season with Minnesota in 2021/22. Though his stats in recent years remained impressive, the team had been mired in middling lottery-bound purgatory for three straight seasons prior to 2022.
In 2022, the 6’11” center made his first All-Star team since 2019 and his first All-NBA Team since 2018. Towns also won the NBA Three-Point Contest during the 2022 All-Star Weekend, a rarity for a big man. During 74 games last year, Towns averaged 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 3.6 APG, with guard-like shooting splits of .529/.410/.822.
The three-time All-Star’s offensive prowess was a big reason the Timberwolves returned to their first playoff berth in four years. Led by Towns and second-year phenom Anthony Edwards, plus guards D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley, the seventh-seeded Timberwolves pushed the second-seeded Grizzlies in a tough, physical first-round series. Minnesota would ultimately fall to Memphis in six games.
A super-max contract extension for Towns, an exceptional offensive talent just reaching his prime, had previously been considered the top priority for Minnesota’s front office this summer.
So far in free agency, the team has also added veteran small forward Kyle Anderson and re-signed tweener forward Taurean Prince to a two-year extension. The team also exercised non-guaranteed team options for 2022/23 on Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell.
In the draft, the Timberwolves added several intriguing young players. Auburn big man Walker Kessler, the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year, and Duke small forward Wendell Moore, were selected in the first round. Memphis drafted Memphis swingman Josh Minott and Vanoli Cremona shooting guard Matteo Spagnolo in the second round.