How All-NBA selection impacts Towns’ future in Minnesota
Karl-Anthony Towns may now have a couple hundred million reasons or so to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After a season where he averaged a stellar 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, Towns was named to the 2017-18 All-NBA Third Team on Thursday.
— NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
This is Towns’ first career All-NBA selection, and it could potentially have a big impact on his future. Bobby Marks of Yahoo! Sports promptly noted that the star center’s All-NBA nod now makes him eligible for an extension with the Wolves this summer that could be worth up to $188 million.
Karl-Anthony Towns can receive an extension this summer up to 30% of the salary cap in 2019-20. Towns who earned All-NBA (third team) could earn up to $188M on a possible extension.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) May 24, 2018
Rumors have abounded in recent weeks that the 22-year-old is unhappy in Minnesota, and one prominent opposing player caused something of a stir by appearing to recruit Towns on Twitter. However, that $188 milion extension would be far more lucrative than any deal Towns could get as a restricted free agent in 2019 — only the Wolves can offer Towns a guaranteed fifth year on his next contract, meaning he could be looking at roughly $37.6 million a year.
Granted, Towns could still theoretically be traded even if he signs that big extension (as has happened in the past with players like Blake Griffin and, to a lesser extent, Paul George). But he would be much less of an appealing option to potential suitors, who might not want to be saddled with that kind of long-term money, even if they would have Towns locked down for his prime years.
The Wolves also have a strong core of talent that just led the team to their first playoff berth in nearly a decade-and-a-half, and that means that Towns now has both competitive and financial incentive to stay right where he is.