Northwest Notes: Towns, Sexton, Clarkson, Jokic, SGA

Teams around the NBA are keeping an eye on Karl-Anthony Towns‘ situation in Minnesota and wondering whether the Timberwolves big man might become available via trade in the not-too-distant future, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic said on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast (hat tip to RealGM). However, Krawczynski told Lowe that there’s no indication that the Wolves are considering such a move.

“I can tell you from everyone that I’ve talked to within the organization, they very much believe in KAT,” Krawczynski said, per RealGM. “They believe that once he comes back and they have some time to build around (Anthony Edwards) and (Rudy) Gobert and KAT, they very much believe that can still work. (Head coach) Chris Finch believes it. (President of basketball operations) Tim Connelly believes it. They don’t have any plans to trade him.”

There has been skepticism that the Timberwolves’ twin towers duo of Towns and Gobert can be effective, but the organization still believes in the pairing and hasn’t had an opportunity to assess it at length this season — Towns has been limited to just 21 games so far due to a calf strain that has sidelined him since November 28.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Jazz guard Collin Sexton will remain on the shelf for at least one more week due to his left hamstring strain, tweets Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. The team stated that Sexton is “progressing as expected” and will be reevaluated next Monday. His backcourt mate Jordan Clarkson has also been added to the injury list and will miss Tuesday’s game with a sprained right thumb, tweets Larsen.
  • It remains to be seen whether Nikola Jokic will win a third consecutive Most Valuable Player award, but Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has already made up his mind about this season’s MVP race, per Craig Meyer of The Associated Press. “If you’re looking for a super athlete to win MVP, he’s not your candidate,” Malone said of Jokic. “If you’re looking for a great player that impacts winning in every possible way, whose team is first place in the Western Conference, then he’s your man. Frankly, I don’t give a damn what people think. I know he’s the MVP and his teammates know that and all the fans here in Denver and back home in Serbia know that.”
  • Already hampered by an abdominal strain and right ankle soreness, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has now entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The OKC All-Star has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game vs. Sacramento and will likely miss at least Wednesday’s contest against the Lakers too now that he’s in the COVID-19 protocols, Mussatto adds.
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