The New York Knicks headline the list of teams awaiting the next disgruntled superstar trying to push his way out of a city or team he doesn’t like.
One player on teams’ radar: Karl-Anthony Towns. In six NBA seasons, he has seen the playoffs just once and it’s fair to question how far a Towns and D'Angelo Russell team can go (even with the emerging Anthony Edwards in the mix). Teams are monitoring the situation.
Towns tried to shoot all that down in an end-of-season interview. Here are his quotes, via Shahbaz Khan at NBA.com.
“I hope to have a career like Kobe…with one team,” said Towns. “Like Tim [Duncan] and Kobe, where it’s one team and try to bring as many championships as possible…
“I just really am happy that I’m able to still be here playing for this amazing city and state and be able to stay here and affect change in the community,” shared Towns. “I’m just so happy that I’ve been given a chance to play here in Minnesota all these years.”
Two quick thoughts here.
First, take any promise of a young star player staying with his team forever with a grain of salt. Not that the sentiment isn’t genuine, but the line of players who have made those promises and then pushed their way out of town is long and starts behind Anthony Davis.
Second, Towns likely doesn’t want to be on the move right now. The biggest reason may be the support he felt from the organization and city in the aftermath of the death of his mother due to COVID-19 and then his own struggles after contracting the disease. That is when an organization can feel like a family.
In addition, there is an ownership change in Minnesota; he will want to see how A-Rod and company spend money and change the organization. Also, Towns pushed for D’Angelo Russell to be part of the Minnesota roster, and it took a while for those two to both be healthy and play together, and combined with the emergence of Edwards as a potential star, the Timberwolves played fairly well at the end of the season. Finally, he has a fully guaranteed three years left, the Timberwolves would rather build around him, there is no pressure to deal him.
Nothing is changing in the short term; there should be no Towns-on-the-move rumors. How will things be different in a year or two? That’s another lifetime in the NBA. It’s impossible to predict. Other teams are just watching the situation.