The Knicks are expected to be aggressive in trying to add talent this summer and could be a leading contender if the Timberwolves decide to trade Karl-Anthony Towns, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy. A league source told Deveney that Towns would have interest in going to New York and speculated that it’s just a matter of time before the Knicks try to make it happen.
Deveney points out that Towns already has ties to the organization in team president Leon Rose, who is his former agent, and head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Towns for two and a half seasons in Minnesota. The Wolves’ early playoff exit, combined with New York’s surge into the Eastern Conference semifinals, creates even more motivation for the move to happen, Deveney adds.
Towns has one more season before his four-year, $224MM super-max extension kicks in, which will place a tremendous strain on the Wolves’ finances. Trading him might be the best option for avoiding the strictest provisions of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“No matter the success this year, the Knicks are going to keep being aggressive,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “So you’d want to start with RJ Barrett there. But you can send (Obi) Toppin, you can send (Quentin) Grimes, (Miles) McBride. They do not want to trade (Immanuel) Quickley but if the target is Towns, maybe they would change that. You’d play Towns at the 5 if you were New York so they’d probably have Mitchell Robinson in the deal, and he could go to a third team. A lot of possibilities and Minnesota might be a better team by putting it all on (Anthony) Edwards and getting the right pieces from that mix.”
There’s more from New York:
- No timetable has been set for a return by Julius Randle, who reinjured his left ankle in Wednesday’s game, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Thibodeau said Randle was limited in Friday’s practice to shooting, lifting weights and doing cardio work in the pool. He’s considered day-to-day ahead of the start of New York’s second-round series with Miami on Sunday afternoon.
- Grimes, who missed the past two games with a right shoulder contusion, is optimistic that he’ll be ready for the series opener (video link from SNY.tv).
- The Knicks and Heat have been through some legendary playoff battles, but Josh Hart said that won’t have any effect this year’s series (video link). “It was 23, 27 years ago,” Hart told reporters. “Most of our guys weren’t even born yet. For us, those are the war stories of the past. We’ve got our own path.”