NBA Rumors: When to expect Karl-Anthony Towns trade talks to heat up

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

After Anthony Edwards signed a super-max extension, does Karl-Anthony Towns still fit in the long term picture of the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Buzz about Damian Lillard and James Harden trades have dominated most NBA offseason discussions as we’ve ebbed into July.

Rightfully so, those two star guards are the level of players that can put a freeze on any other major movement in the league. They’re first dominoes, meaning that plenty will move after they do, but most of it won’t move until then.

One of those late stage dominoes could be Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns was the first pick of the 2015 NBA draft and has been the leader of the franchise since.

In a recent ESPN NBA Insiders free agency round-up, Tim MacMahon, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, and Marc Spears all said they’re keeping an ear out for Towns name especially once we get closer to next season’s February trade deadline.

It makes sense. Since drafting Towns he has had some impressive individual seasons, making All-NBA third team twice and the NBA All-Star game three times.

The successes stop there though, and the highlights are even lower for the franchise itself. They’ve made the playoffs three times in his tenure, and have not won a playoff series.

Earlier this offseason, they signed guard Anthony Edwards to a super-max contract extension which seems to be a pretty clear signal that they’re passing the franchise keys onto him, and away from Towns.

What happens next for Towns and the Timberwolves?

In the short term, probably not much. Even if the Lillard and Harden trades were to happen tomorrow there haven’t been any significant rumblings of the Timberwolves shopping Towns or vice versa, Towns requesting a trade.

This is unsurprising. The Timberwolves made a huge trade for Rudy Gobert last offseason, then struggled with health issues all season, made a trade that changed their starting lineup, and still managed to scrape into the playoffs via the play-in.

Unless a team calls with a too-good-to-pass-up offer for Towns, the Timberwolves should head into the upcoming season with optimism and see where they stack up against the rest of the Western Conference before even testing the waters on one of their key players.

Should that go south though, it’s likely time to start taking calls and seeing what they can acquire.

Towns will not lack for interested suitors either. The Clippers have two stars who can’t stay on the court and have upcoming player options in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Dallas is without question on the clock with Luka Doncic, and if they’re off to a slow start they need to try to do everything they can to keep the Slovenian superstar happy.

Those are just two teams who come to mind quickly, but certainly plenty of others are interested in the self-identified best-shooting big man of all-time.

Expect this particular storyline to start taking shape in December depending on where the Timberwolves are in the Western Conference. It’s rare for big trades to happen that soon, and even if start’s taking shape then it will likely carry into the trade deadline as these often do.

Regardless of how things shake out, this is a big season for Towns and the Timberwolves and the franchise will not be lacking for drama, good or bad.

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