Wolves Notes: Towns, Edwards, Ownership Fight, Connelly

As the Timberwolves deal with the disappointment of a Game 5 blowout that ended their playoff run, the focus now turns to the future and whether the franchise can afford to keep the core of its current team together. Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been the focus of some trade speculation because of his pricey contract, told reporters after Thursday’s game that he wants to stay in Minnesota, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I’m confident I’ll be able to be here with my brothers and continue what I love to do here at home,” said Towns who has spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the team. “So that’s the plan. Nothing’s changed on my side. I love this city. I love this organization. I love this city. It’s given me my life, me and my family.”

Towns’ $221MM extension will take effect next season, paying him roughly $49.4MM, $53.3MM and $57.3MM over the next three years with a $61.2MM player option for 2027/28. With an expensive roster around him and an unsettled ownership situation, there’s no guarantee the Wolves will be willing to keep Towns and deal with the second tax apron restrictions that will result.

Towns refused to comment on the team’s financial situation following Game 5.

“That’s not for me to worry about,” he said. “My job is to go out there every day and do something this summer in the offseason and continue to take steps forward in my game and my mentality not only as a player but as a person too.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Anthony Edwards wasn’t discouraged by the loss, promising that the Wolves will be ready for another long playoff run next season, McMenamin adds. Edwards, who had three 40-point games in the playoffs, believes the organization has a bright future after reaching the conference finals for the first time in 20 years. “It’s a lot of our guys’ first time being in this light, especially me. It’s my first time,” he said. “But we’ll be ready, man. We’ll be all right. First time. Took a loss. Congratulations to the Mavericks. But we’ll be back. We’ll be all right.”
  • A three-person arbitration panel has been selected to oversee the ownership dispute, but there are no signs of a quick resolution, according to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic. Arena sources tell the authors that the bitter feelings between current majority owner Glen Taylor and prospective owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have intensified, reporting that Taylor tried to approach the duo several times during the playoffs and even attempted to hug Rodriguez, but was turned away.
  • President of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who has an opt-out clause in his contract, will have to make a decision on his future before the ownership situation is settled, Krawczynski and Charania add. They note that Lore and Rodriguez led the recruiting pitch that convinced Connelly to leave Denver, and he joined the Wolves with the expectation of eventually working for them. Sources tell the authors that Minnesota was very concerned about the Pistons making a huge offer to lure Connelly away before they opted to make Trajan Langdon their new head of basketball operations.
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