Could Karl-Anthony Towns be headed out of Minnesota?
Even though the Timberwolves star is in the first season of a five-year, $158 million max contract, there have been recent reports of teams keeping a close watch on the fact that Towns might be unhappy with his struggling team. While there are teams that would love to acquire Towns, Wolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas told ESPN on Wednesday that first-overall pick in the 2015 draft isn’t going anywhere.
“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.”
Rosas spoke before the Wolves’ 117-110 loss at Chicago, a setback that dropped Minnesota to 15-29 on the season and marked its seventh consecutive defeat. This comes after the Wolves started the season with a 10-8 record. Towns, who returned from a 15-game absence last Friday that was caused by a knee injury and then an illness, had 40 points in Wednesday’s loss at United Center.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6 and while Towns isn’t going to be moved in the first season of his contract the greater concern is that he will want out in the coming years unless things turn around. Towns told the Star Tribune after the Wolves’ 116-114 loss at Indiana last Friday that he isn’t interested in creating drama.
“I think you’ve been around me long enough to know I don’t go for all the …,” said Towns, who is averaging 26.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 27 games this season. “I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is. There’s a reason those stories are made because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be. I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf. Very fortunate I have a head coach like (Ryan Saunders), a president and friend like (Rosas). I’m not worried about all that nonsense.
“Whatever we have to deal with in house, we’ll deal with in house, but this ain’t the circus like it used to be. This is something that’s going to be done as a family. If we have a problem or anything, we’ll deal with it internally. We won’t have any external forces here adding anything.”
Towns was referencing the circus that surrounded the Jimmy Butler situation with Tom Thibodeau last season, when Butler forced the Wolves president of basketball operations and coach to trade him by making life miserable for everyone at Target Center.
Rosas, meanwhile, has started making moves to reshape the Wolves’ roster. He sent veteran point guard Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham to Atlanta for Allen Crabbe on Jan. 16.
“We’ve been very aggressive,” Rosas told ESPN. “We’ve been very thorough in terms of any opportunities to help our team, and that’ll be a continual process. So for us, we’re gonna be very active and we’re going to look at any opportunity that can present itself and make sure that if there’s a deal that we can do to improve our team, we’re going to take advantage of those opportunities.”