The Minnesota Timberwolves are squandering their chance of keeping Karl-Anthony Towns after his contract is up. Here are three trades they should make. | Credit: AP/Alex Gallardo

The Timberwolves Should Just Trade Karl-Anthony Towns at This Point

This is an opinion.

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost 11 games in a row.
  • Towns has reportedly been getting frustrated with the team.
  • Minnesota should test out the trade market for Towns before it’s too late.

Karl-Anthony Towns is still in the first year of a five-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But as we’ve seen with players like Anthony Davis, contracts become meaningless once a superstar wants out.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost 11 games in a row. They’re closer in the standings to league-worst Golden State than they are to eighth seed Memphis Grizzlies. Towns has reportedly been getting frustrated with the team [ClutchPoints].

At this point, it’s only a matter of time before Karl-Anthony Towns demands a trade. Minnesota would be better off getting ahead of the problem and acquiring maximum value for their unicorn center.

Here are some trade options for the Timberwolves.

Boston Celtics

Boston Receives: Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Receives: Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis

After whiffing on their prized center Anthony Davis, the Celtics can get the next best thing. Towns could anchor their team for the next decade. But he wouldn’t come cheap.

Losing Tatum and Smart would cut out a large part of their current identity. But replacing them with one of the most talented big men in the NBA would help them move on. A starting lineup of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Towns, and whatever fifth player they choose would be an offensive juggernaut.

Minnesota finally gets the caliber of wing player they thought they were getting in Andrew Wiggins. Considering that they’ve been better over the past month without Towns in the lineup, this trade could help them forge a new identity as a rangy, defensive-minded team.

New York Knicks

New York Receives: Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Receives: Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Three 1st round picks

Minnesota doesn’t get a coveted star as they would’ve in the Boston deal, but this is a nice haul nonetheless. Robinson gives them a young, rim-protecting center to build their defense around. Knox could still be useful someday. Randle could be a rental, but maybe they re-sign him.

The first-round picks would be the juiciest asset in this deal. Even if the Knicks had Towns for the rest of the year, they’re still heading to the lottery. Considering Minnesota’s supporting cast is more competent than New York’s, and they’ve still lost 11 in a row, those draft picks could hold high value over the next few years. It’s a steep price for the Knicks, but the market has been telling us that top-tier superstars are worth at least three firsts and young talent [NBA].

New York, on the other hand, finally gets the superstar for whom they’ve been thirsting. Perhaps the presence of Towns could entice another superstar to join him in NYC.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Receives: Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Receives: Evan Turner, Cam Reddish, John Collins, 1st round pick

Trae Young, who’s surprised all of us with his progression, finally finds the running mate he needs. It would be lob city laced with deep threats that those Clippers teams never had. Both players combined average seven three-pointers a game. Yes, their defense would be god awful, but they’d mostly be looking to outscore their opponents.

Minnesota gets two building blocks in Collins and Reddish, plus a valuable first-round pick to set them sailing into the future.

While no one ever wants to part with a player as talented as Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota hasn’t shown the competence to keep him. These trades would at least recoup maximum value from the disgruntled big man.