In a summer that’s started with constant trade talk surrounding Minnesota Timberwolves All-NBA center Karl-Anthony Towns, our friend Jon Krawczynski from The Athletic said on The Jon Krawczynski Show that he doesn’t see a Towns trade as a likelihood at this point.
He mentions that things could change, but that all current conversation within the Timberwolves organization points to running it back with their core group from last season. From ownership down to Towns himself, there’s a sense that Minnesota would like to give it another go in 2023-24.
.@JonKrawczynski was asked on his podcast about the recent speculation regarding Karl-Anthony Towns being traded this summer.— Charlie Walton (@CharlieWaltonMN) June 12, 2023
From the messages he's received internally, Jon said the plan is for the Timberwolves to run it back next season.
Full quote ⤵️https://t.co/7kq9UFWgab pic.twitter.com/Yz7XegeayS
But with minimal concrete evidence that a trade of Towns has been seriously discussed within the organization, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly and Co. could be gearing up for another run with the two-big lineup less than 12 months after making the seismic deal to land Rudy Gobert.
Why Pumping the Breaks Might Make Sense
Undying Loyalty to an Always-Changing Scenario
While much conversation has been had about a potential Towns trade, Krawczynski’s report forces fans to hold off on sending the three-time NBA All-Star out the door just yet.
Despite a tumultuous tenure in Minneapolis — from a team disfunction standpoint — Towns has consistently voiced his desire to remain a Wolf. Through the sub-.500 seasons, four head coaching changes, a front office carousel, role reconfigurations and next to zero organizational consistency, the Edison, N.J. native has remained devoted to the franchise.
The three-time All-Star has won more than 40 games in just three of his first eight seasons, something the team did just once in the 10 seasons before he arrived. It highlights that Towns has often been the main bright spot on some poor Minnesota teams around him early in his career.
Trading or losing players that show dedication to a team and its fans is hard enough as is, but when that player is also one of the franchise’s best, it become a painstaking process.
Lack of Camaraderie Issue Reemerges
Trading away Towns — as necessary or unnecessary it be may — furthers the team’s problem with organizational familiarity and consistency.
The idea of ‘running it back’ next season is heavily based on the thought that cohesiveness with this group will come with added reps. Even though the Timberwolves played 52 games without him last season, there’s no doubt they missed his presence and relied on him as soon as he returned.
Getting another year under their belt, as many times as it’s been said, could be beneficial.
Does the Team Get Better Right Away?
A hypothetical trade for someone like Scoot Henderson or other young talent provides long-term promise, which may be most beneficial to fit with Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, but it likely sets the team back right away.
Playing the long-term game may very well be the right choice, but taking a step back now in order to take a step forward down the line is a risky process. Surely there are some within the organization (front office, ownership and players) who want to win now, and aren’t interested in postponing success even if that potential success is greater.