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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Karl-Anthony Towns

Watch: Karl-Anthony Towns makes game-winner from behind basket

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns beat the Memphis Grizzlies with a shot at the buzzer in overtime on Wednesday, and the degree of difficulty for the shot makes it even more impressive.

Minnesota and Memphis were tied at 97 in overtime with just a few seconds left. Andrew Wiggins attempted a shot but it missed off the iron to Towns, who then attempted a shot before the buzzer from the baseline, behind the basket.

Towns only had 16 points in the game, all coming after halftime. He missed all six of his threes as well, but he made a big shot when it counted the most.

The Timberwolves are now 25-26 and have not found any more success since firing Tom Thibodeau.

Watch: Karl-Anthony Towns asks out of game after airballing 3-pointer

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns gave his detractors more fuel for criticism during Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

Towns attempted a three-pointer in the third quarter that he airballed. Immediately after, cameras showed Towns motioning to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ sideline to be taken out of the game.

Towns was having a rough game all around. He finished just 5-for-17 shooting for only 14 points. The 2-3 Timberwolves lost the game 112-105.

Some commentators have been critical of Towns and even Jimmy Butler called him “soft.” Airballing a shot and asking to come out doesn’t do much to dispel that theory.

Karl-Anthony Towns jokes with John Calipari after contract news

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns had some jokes for John Calipari after his big contract news was shared on Saturday.

News emerged that Towns had agreed to a five-year extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves that could be worth as much as $190 million. His college coach at Kentucky, Calipari, sent a tweet expressing congratulations for Towns. Towns wrote back with a joke about Calipari holding him back in college.

Though Towns was joking, there is a little something to the story.

In an interview with CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave last year, Towns talked about just how hard Calipari was on him during his one season at Kentucky in 2014-15. He said that Calipari was even tougher on him than Tom Thibodeau is with the Timberwolves.

Q. Who’s tougher on you, Thibs or Cal?

A. Haha. Ahhhh … I’ma say Cal. Cal was very hard on me. Thibs is hard on me, but Cal was otherworldly hard on me. It was definitely something I enjoyed, funny enough. I was always able to take the criticism. I was always able to talk to him. They both have love for me.

To be clear: there is no beef between them. Towns talked glowingly about Calipari and how much the coach loves his players. But the point is that Calipari was hard on Towns, and maybe Towns is now seeing that it paid off.

There’s a good reason why Cal’s players are worth a combined billion dollars in the NBA!

Karl-Anthony Towns gets potential $190 million super-max contract from Minnesota

Karl Anthony Towns

The Minnesota Timberwolves have made a huge commitment to Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns and the Timberwolves have agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-max contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Though the $190 million figure stands out, it is contingent upon Towns making one of the All-NBA teams next season, or winning Defensive Player of the Year or NBA MVP next season in either of the next two seasons. If he does not do that, the deal will pay him $158 million over five seasons.

Towns was the No. 1 overall pick in 2015 and is entering his fourth season in the league. He made his first All-Star team last season and was also third-team All-NBA. Players need to either win NBA MVP, DPOY or be named to one of the All-NBA teams in two of the previous three seasons to qualify for the super-max contract.

Towns could potentially join Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and John Wall as the players who have signed the super-max contract. The big money committed to him also seems to mean the Timberwolves will be parting ways with Jimmy Butler.

10 best 2019 NBA free agents

Kevin Durant

Just two months ago, NBA fans were talking about which stars could change teams this summer. Now that those chips have been sorted, with stars like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and DeMarcus Cousins joining new squads, the league’s power dynamics have shifted.

The Lakers are suddenly a contender. The Raptors have new life. The Warriors somehow look even more unbeatable.

It’s early, and a lot could change this season, but we’re already thinking about which big names could be on the move a year from now. Here are the 10 best 2019 free agents as it stands today.

10. DeMarcus Cousins

This is a trial year for Cousins. He signed with Golden State for a few reasons: (1) he won’t have to rush back, as the Warriors are far from desperate to get him on the court; (2) he could win a ring; and (3) Golden State’s revered locker-room culture should present him with an opportunity to rebuild his reputation, much like JaVale McGee and Nick Young have previously. But he didn’t sign with the Warriors for the money — he’ll only receive $5.3 million this season. Cousins is looking to next summer as his opportunity to cash out and land a longer-term deal.

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Ranking the 20 best players in the NBA’s Western Conference

It won’t come as news to anyone that the NBA’s Western Conference is loaded.

LeBron James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers puts the topper on the most loaded conference in basketball. Beyond James, you have a Golden State Warriors team that will eventually be able to start five All-Stars if they choose to do so. That doesn’t even encompass a number of other superstars playing out West either. We’re already excited for the playoffs.

Who are the 20 best players in the Western Conference? Here’s our list.

20) Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

It may seem premature, but Mitchell is on here as much for what he could be as soon as next season. Mitchell walked into the NBA from Louisville and became one of the major reasons Utah had such a successful season, averaging upwards of 20 points per game. With a year of experience and the motivation from a feud under his belt, there’s no reason to believe he won’t get even better going forward. Did you see how well he performed in the playoffs? That’s just a taste of what’s to come.

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How All-NBA selection impacts Towns’ future in Minnesota

Karl Anthony Towns

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.

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.

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.

Devin Booker fuels Karl-Anthony Towns speculation with tweet

Devin Booker is wasting no time hollering at former college teammate Karl-Anthony Towns in the midst of rumors that Towns is unhappy in Minnesota.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on an episode of his podcast Friday that the All-Star Towns and the Timberwolves are “not in a good place right now internally.”

A few hours after Lowe’s remark went viral, Booker fueled further speculation about Towns by tweeting a picture of him wearing a Phoenix Suns uniform.

The 22-year-old Towns, who averaged 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this season, played his one-and-done year together with Booker at Kentucky in 2014-15. The team went 38-1 that season and made it to the Final Four.

Towns and Booker remain close, and it is possible that they were just goofing around when the photo was taken (the No. 1 jersey that Towns is wearing in it belongs to Booker). However, the tweet at least begs the question — the Suns do have a major need at the center position, but they also have the assets to swing a trade for a star like Towns (the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft as well as no fewer than six recent lottery picks on their roster besides Booker).

As for Towns himself, he is still on his rookie deal and can become a restricted free agent in 2019. A recent Wolves personnel move may have also upset him.

Timberwolves fire three staffers, including Towns favorite

Karl Anthony Towns

Despite earning a playoff berth for the first time in 14 years, the Minnesota Timberwolves have made a fairly sizable shake-up to their coaching staff.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported on Monday that Wolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has cut ties with three of his staffers: shooting coach Peter Patton, assistant video coordinator Wes Bohn, and player development coach Vince Legarza.

Legarza, in particular, worked closely with Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns. He arrived in Minnesota before the All-Star center’s rookie season in 2015-16 and formed a bond with Towns, often working with him on his low-post game. Krawczynski adds that Towns was unware of the decision to let Legarza go.

The 22-year-old Towns is coming off a 2017-18 season where he averaged 21.3 points and 12.3 points per game but was criticized for a lack of aggressiveness in his first career postseason. He will have until Oct. 31 to sign an extension with the Wolves (or else become a restricted free agent in 2019), and it’s hard to imagine that this decision will make him more eager to commit long-term.

Shaq offers advice for Karl-Anthony Towns: ‘He needs to demand the ball’

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns struggled offensively in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first playoff game against the Houston Rockets on Sunday, and one of the best big men to ever play has some ideas for how Towns can prevent that from happening going forward.

Towns scored just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting in Game 1, and Shaquille O’Neal feels that has a lot to do with the 7-footer not establishing himself down low and demanding the ball.

“What I would tell him to do is run to the middle of the floor every time and just stand in there until the ref calls three seconds two times in a row,” Shaq said. “Not only will it get yourself in the game, the defense starts to panic and they’ll start to double and triple a couple times early and you kick it out to your shooters.

“I know he’s young, but he’s the man on the team and he still needs to demand the ball. When they switch and a little guy (guards) him, all the guards telling him to clear out — no, you don’t move. You say, no give me the ball. Throw me the ball.”

Towns did manage to chip in with 12 rebounds, but he knows he has to do a better job in other areas if the T-Wolves want a shot at giving Houston a series.

While Shaq may be known more for his goofy antics in his post-playing days, Towns would be wise to listen to any advice he has to offer. His four championship rings, three NBA Finals MVP awards, 15 All-Star appearances and spot in the Hall of Fame really say it all.