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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Articles tagged: Minnesota Timberwolves

Timberwolves president says Karl-Anthony Towns is ‘untouchable’

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns has been the subject of trade rumors over the past few weeks, but the Minnesota Timberwolves insist none of that talk has originated from within the organization. According to president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, rival teams shouldn’t even bother calling the T-Wolves to ask about Towns.

Prior to Minnesota’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, Rosas told ESPN’s Eric Woodyard that the Timberwolves have zero interest in trading Towns.

“Karl-Anthony Towns is as untouchable as they come,” Rosas said. “He’s the best player on our team and he’s the guy we’re building around. Everything we do is to help him become the best player and to help us become the best team we can be. He’s a special talent that we’re going to do anything possible to help him achieve his highest potential.”

Towns signed a five-year, $158 million max contract extension with Minnesota last offseason. He isn’t eligible to become a free agent until 2024, and Rosas’ comments coincidentally came a few hours before Towns scored 40 points in the loss to Chicago. He’s also just 24, so there is very little incentive for the Timberwolves to trade him.

Of course, players forcing their way to new teams has become commonplace in the modern NBA, and some rumors have indicated Towns is unhappy in Minnesota. The big man recently dismissed them, however, and there is very little chance he will be traded even with the Timberwolves just 15-29 on the season and fading from playoff contention.

Report: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns have no worries about long-term outlook

Karl Anthony Towns

Concerns about Karl-Anthony Towns’ future in Minnesota appear to be overstated.

Amid reports that Towns is unhappy with the struggling Timberwolves, sources close to both the organization and Towns himself downplayed that chatter. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, both parties see it as inevitable chatter that comes about when a star player is on a losing team, and there is emphasis on the fact that the sources in the original report are not from people close to Towns.

The initial report stated that the Golden State Warriors were monitoring Towns’ situation as talk of his possible unhappiness grew. That report sourced NBA executives, so while the Warriors may be eyeing Towns, that dissatisfaction may be overstated.

Talk about how happy Towns may be isn’t exactly unwarranted. The team is 12-20 and has only made the playoffs once in his career. That said, Towns is in the first year of a five-year extension, making it even more unlikely that he’s departing anytime soon.

T-Wolves opposing NBA’s ruling that Ben Simmons was ‘peacemaker’ in fight

Ben Simmons Karl Towns tap

Ben Simmons found his way into the scuffle that broke out between teammate Joel Embiid and Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday night, but he was not ejected like the two big men. That is apparently because game officials determined Simmons was trying to keep the peace, but the T-Wolves did not see it that way.

The NBA is investigating the altercation, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Timberwolves are rejecting the notion that Simmons was a “peacemaker.” Referee Mark Ayotte told a pool reporter after the game that the officiating crew believed Simmons was trying to de-escalate the fight, but the T-Wolves are arguing that he put Towns in “a dangerous choke hold” on the floor.

Simmons told reporters after the game that he has “always got my teammate’s back,” so he did not specifically say he was trying to keep the peace. You can check out the video of him essentially making Towns tap out and decide for yourself.

Towns threw a swing at Embiid before the two tangled up and went to the ground, and it’s possible both could be suspended. Simmons could also face disciplinary action, though it would be surprising if it is as severe as whatever punishment the NBA determines is warranted for Embiid and Towns.

Embiid and Towns, who have long had issues with one another, continued the latest installment of their feud on social media after the game.

D’Angelo Russell reportedly wants to join Timberwolves

Despite interest from the team he started his career with, D’Angelo Russell appears to have a different preference for his new home.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Minnesota Timberwolves are Russell’s preferred option in free agency, and they believe they can free up the necessary cap space to sign him. The feeling is mutual, as the Timberwolves have made him their top target as well.

Russell is already set to meet with the Timberwolves. Unless the Los Angeles Lakers can change his mind, it sounds like it will be a matter of Minnesota clearing the cap space required to bring the guard in.

Timberwolves will reportedly meet with D’Angelo Russell

With D’Angelo Russell’s Brooklyn Nets future looking increasingly murky, the guard is starting to set up meetings with other teams.

According to Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Russell is set to meet with the Minnesota Timberwolves once free agency kicks off.

As Russell is a restricted free agent, they can match any offer he receives. However, if Kyrie Irving joins them as expected, it could see him depart the organization.

Russell has other interested parties, including an organization he knows well. The Timberwolves, who are looking for talent everywhere to surround Karl-Anthony Towns with, would also present an interesting option, though they’re not exactly considered a contender.

Timberwolves trade with Suns to acquire No. 6 pick

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves were looking to trade up in the draft and finally found a taker in the Phoenix Suns.

The Timberwolves have traded the No. 11 overall pick and Dario Saric to the Suns for the No. 6 pick, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Minnesota reportedly had been looking to move up to No. 4, but the Pelicans instead traded that pick to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks reportedly are expected to take De’Andre Hunter fourth. The Cavaliers may be fixed on Darius Garland at No. 5, which would leave things open to Minnesota after that. It’s unclear whom they have their eye on.

Saric is under contract for $3.48 million next season and would have a qualifying offer of around $4.7 million the following season. He was a first-round pick in 2014 but did not join the NBA until the 2016-17 season.

Timberwolves reportedly trying hard to trade with Pelicans for No. 4 pick

The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly made it clear that they are willing to trade the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are a team said to have strong interest in making a deal.

The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that Minnesota has been aggressive in trying to move up from No. 11 to No. 4.

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett are expected to be the first three picks in the draft, so after that, things will get interesting and the unpredictable can happen.

On top of their reported desire to trade up in the draft, the Timberwolves are said to be looking to trade Andrew Wiggins, though finding a taker for him may be difficult due to his contract.

Minnesota finished 36-46 last season, 11th in the West. The Pelicans’ willingness to trade the No. 4 pick signals their desire to assemble a contender for the upcoming season.