Timberwolves Notes: KAT, Title Path, Branch, Spagnolo

After agreeing to a four-year, super-max extension earlier this offseason with the team that selected him first in the 2015 NBA draft, Timberwolves All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns penned an enthusiastic letter praising Minnesota fans in local paper the Star Tribune (h/t to NBA Retweet for capturing the image).

“To the best fans in the NBA,” Towns began his missive. “When I arrived in Minnesota in 2015, I carried a lot of weight on my shoulders… I arrived at a hopeful time for the franchise. The best part of my tenure here is that we have such a bright future ahead — because of you all, the fans.

“… I am not who I am today without you,” Towns continued. “Thank you for challenging me, holding me accountable, supporting me and giving me a place to grow up and learn what it means to represent this state…. I promise to continue leading us to new heights for years to come.”

Towns will be suiting up for a new-look Minnesota club this fall, thanks in no small part to the team’s blockbuster trade for former Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert.

There’s more out of Minnesota:

  • In recent remarks made after agreeing to his new contract, Karl-Anthony Towns claimed to revel in the challenge of lifting the team that drafted him onto the path to title contention, writes Michael Rand of the Star Tribune“A lot of people in my position, you know, they get to this spot with their second contract and they’re looking to get a ring — the easiest ring around the league,” Towns said during a conversation for the Star Tribune’s podcast Daily Delivery. “I wanted to take the harder route. I wanted to be loyal to the people who brought me into this league and gave me a chance to prove my worth. I wanted to win here.”
  • Joe Branch, a Timberwolves front office executive who first joined Minnesota following a stint as an agent with Roc Nation, is on the cusp of heading back to the agency side, where he is set to latch on with BDA Sports, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Shooting guard Matteo Spagnolo, drafted by the Timberwolves with the No. 50 pick this year, will join Italian club Aquila Basket Trento for the 2022/23 season, the team announced in a press statement. Spagnolo heads to Aquila Basket on loan from Real Madrid, for whom the 19-year-old has played since 2018. During the 2021/22 season, Real Madrid loaned Spagnola out to another Italian team, Vanoli Cremona.  In 25 contests for Vanolia Cremona, the 6’4″ wing averaged 12.2 PPG on .440/.441/.861 shooting. He also notched 3.5 RPG, 2.6 APG and 0.8 SPG.
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