Western Notes: Wolves, Towns, Lakers, Redick, Ingram, G. Allen

Discussing the Timberwolves‘ ownership situation during the latest episode of the Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link), ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said there’s a perception around the league that if Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore assume majority control of the franchise, “payroll’s getting slashed.” However, his colleague Brian Windhorst disagrees with that notion.

“Let me just say this: I don’t believe it’s going to get slashed,” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM). “I believe if (A-Rod and Lore) get the team by the fall, which I am skeptical of for various reasons, but if they get the team by the fall, I don’t think they’re cracking this team in pieces to save money. I think because one thing about the team, they have instantaneous equity, they can borrow it against it like that.”

While Windhorst doesn’t expect payroll to decline drastically if Rodriguez and Lore take over majority control from longtime owner Glen Taylor, he does think the new owners may not be attached to Karl-Anthony Towns as Taylor has been to this point.

“I do not think they would tear the team apart. However, I do think that there’s a possibility if the ownership change took place that Karl Towns’ role would be reevaluated,” Windhorst said.

After MacMahon stated more frankly that Towns would likely find himself “on the trade block” in that scenario, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps pointed out that exploring trade scenarios involving the big man doesn’t necessarily mean he’d be moved, since his super-max contract, which includes a $49MM+ cap hit for 2024/25, will make it difficult for Minnesota to find a suitable deal.

“(That’s) why I believe he’s not going anywhere,” Windhorst said. “Because trading him and getting equal return is going to be next to impossible.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • In another segment of the Hoop Collective podcast, Windhorst suggested that the Lakers have been sending the message that they’re still early in the process of their head coaching search, but that the noise surrounding J.J. Redick‘s candidacy has been loud. “I have some people saying, ‘This is J.J. Redick’s job’ that I trust,” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM). “I have some people saying this is a process that is not complete. I suspect I know something, but I am just going to tell you that there’s multiple streams of information. James Borrego has had multiple meetings with the Lakers. I do think that he is a viable candidate for sure, but I think J.J. Redick is a very strong candidate. And he also is calling the (NBA) Finals for our network on ABC and ESPN. So it is what it is.”
  • While there’s a widespread belief that the Pelicans will gauge the trade market for Brandon Ingram this summer, William Guillory of The Athletic makes the case that keeping the former All-Star forward is the right move for New Orleans, arguing that it would be hard to find a deal involving Ingram that makes the team better than the 49-win version from this past season.
  • Having signed a contract extension in April, veteran wing Grayson Allen won’t become trade-eligible until October. But what sort of deal could the Suns make if they were willing to part with Allen in the fall or at next year’s trade deadline? Gerald Bouguet of PHNX Sports attempts to answer that question, generating 15 potential trade scenarios involving Allen.
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