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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Articles tagged: Karl-Anthony Towns

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.

Joel Embiid jabs Towns to continue social media war

Joel Embiid 76ers

Joel Embiid is pretty much just heat-checking at this point.

After the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-108 on Saturday, the Sixers star center jabbed Wolves counterpart Karl-Anthony Towns in a post on social media. Embiid posted a picture of himself dunking with Towns visible in the background and wrote in his caption about how the game was “the talk of both towns.”

Embiid finished with 19 points and six rebounds in the victory, compared to 15 points and 11 rebounds for Towns. But Embiid’s dig is the latest chapter in a continuing (and seemingly friendly) war on social media between the two, the last installment of which we saw back when they met in December.

Karl-Anthony Towns’ family has great reaction to All-Star nod

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns on Tuesday was named to his first All-Star Game, and his family was overjoyed over the news.

This video shows the cool reaction from his parents and girlfriend upon the Minnesota Timberwolves big man being named to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve:

Towns, 22, is in his third season in the league and averaging 20.2 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He arguably deserved to be an All-Star in his first two seasons, but with Minnesota finally posting a strong record, his case is much better. He’s also inching closer to making his bold prediction come true, one step at a time.

Karl-Anthony Towns catches heat for supporting Eagles

Karl Anthony Towns

A 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game certainly was not easy for Minnesota fans, and Karl-Anthony Towns did not exactly help any.

The Timberwolves star caused quite a stir by showing support for the Eagles on his Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts during Sunday’s game.

Granted, the 22-year-old big man is a native of Edison, New Jersey, just about 60 miles south of Philadelphia. But regardless, Towns was still dragged on social media for such an outward show of support against the city he plays for.

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Report: Clippers proposed Blake Griffin, Karl-Anthony Towns swap to Wolves

Blake Griffin

With less than a month to go before the NBA trade deadline, the rumor mill is starting to heat up, particularly for two notable Western Conference teams.

Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reported on Friday that the LA Clippers pitched a blockbuster deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves involving a swap of star bigs Blake Griffin and Karl-Anthony Towns. Scotto does add though that the proposal did not advance past an exploratory call as Minnesota declined.

The five-time All-Star Griffin is in Year One of a five-year, $173 max deal that he signed to return to the Clippers this past summer. As for Towns, he is still on his rookie contract making $6.22 million this season, so any swap would have had to involve more players and salary.

The idea of a swap between the two former No. 1 overall picks is obviously an intriguing one. But while Griffin is the more proven asset, he is nearly seven years older than Towns and is much more injury-prone. As such, it is not too shocking that the Wolves were not interested in trading their young franchise center, so maybe the Clippers should pursue this trade partner instead.

Karl-Anthony Towns bows down to social media king Joel Embiid

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns forgot for a second who he was dealing with, but he was quickly reminded about it.

Towns’ Minnesota Timberwolves lost to Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers in overtime on Tuesday night. The following day, Embiid boasted about his team’s win via Instagram. Towns threw shade with a comment on the photo, and Embiid struck back with a death blow.

The exchange between the two emerging stars made waves on the ‘net, with everyone recognizing that Embiid emerged victorious. So what did Towns have to say about the experience? He was reminded that Embiid is the king of social media.

You better believe that Towns is going to keep his Instagram exchange with Embiid in mind before he tries to challenge the big man in the paint again.

Joel Embiid destroys Karl-Anthony Towns on Instagram

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid is a living legend. First he beats you on the court, then he snatches your soul on social media. Take what happened with him and Karl-Anthony Towns for instance.

Embiid’s 76ers beat Towns’ Timberwolves on Tuesday 118-112 in overtime. Embiid outplayed Towns as well, narrowly missing a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in 39 minutes.

Embiid then posted a photo from the game on Instagram and trolled Towns in the process with a “cat” mention, which seems a reference to Towns, whose initials are KAT.

Towns commented on the photo on Instagram, saying Embiid’s caption was trash. Embiid came back by zinging Towns over his defense.

Towns and Embiid have gone at it before, with Towns trolling Joel over a video game rating. However, this takes things to a new level, and all scorecards have to award victory to Embiid.

Now you know exactly why the Warriors were motivated to beat Philly to avoid Embiid’s social media trash talk.