The Timberwolves need to trade Karl-Anthony Towns
The Minnesota Timberwolves should just accept it. The Karl-Anthony Towns experiment has ran its course. Minnesota should just move on from their 2015 no. 1 overall pick and start building their team around their latest 1st overall selection Anthony Edwards.
The Timberwolves lost another tough one to the Phoenix Suns, 99-96, on Monday and dropped to 4-9 on the season. After starting the season 3-1, they have now lost eight of their last nine outings and are slowly inching towards the bottom of the Western Conference.
I mean, sure, Minnesota can look at the positives for these kinds of games. They were able to hang around the defending Western Conference champions and even had their chances to win the game. The team could chalk this up as a moral victory, having held Phoenix to just 99 points and 37.6 percent shooting. But when are these moral victories going to translate into real wins? When are they going to show up on the actual win-loss column? At the end of the day, a loss is a loss. The more the L’s pile up, the more Karl-Anthony Towns’ frustrations will grow.
Towns has been accustomed to losing for nearly his entire year, save for that 2017-18 season when Jimmy Butler came along. At this point in his career, the 26-year old is probably not seeing the positives of these so-called moral victories anymore.
Minnesota may be better off in the long run by parting ways with their 2015 no. 1 overall pick, collecting a ton of assets for the talented center, and just completely handing the keys to Edwards, who is already proving to be a special young alpha. Edwards has the tools and the mentality to be the leader of the franchise. But his youth and inconsistency still surface from time to time and will likely need a couple more years before he truly blossoms into a superstar-caliber player.
The question is, will Towns be willing to continue riding the growing pains? With all the losing seasons he has gone through, that might not be in his best interests. As constructed, this Timberwolves squad, at best, could be a play-in tournament team. But what is that going to do for the Timberwolves long-term? Is Towns going to want to wait for Edwards’ development? The 20-year old obviously still has ways to go before reaching his prime.
After their 123-110 loss to the Golden State Warriors last week, Edwards, who dropped a career-best 48 points in that outing, wasn’t too sulky about the defeat. Here is what the 20-year old had to say about the loss.
“I’m not mad at tonight. Forget the points. Just how we were down 20. The way that we fought as a team. I love that. That gave me energy to keep going. I was tired. But just seeing everybody just keep fighting, keep going, that’s growth I feel like.”
Are we sure Towns felt the same sentiment as Edwards? When asked a reporter if his frustration levels are as high as they’ve ever been, KAT took a pause, sighed, and said, “Just wanna win.”
Just listen to him:
You can clearly see the difference between their answer. In many ways, this is an indication of where they are at this stage of their careers. Edwards is still at the process of being willing to grow through the pains of losing, while Towns just can’t bear the losing anymore.
Towns isn’t going to want to stick around a squad that has a ceiling of a play-in team. He’d ideally want to compete at the highest level at this point of his career. It’s no secret he’s already growing frustrated with all the losing and if this continues to be the case this 2021-22 season, he may eventually reach a boiling point and want out. His body language on this possession suggests he is already growing frustrated.
While there is still a ton of basketball left to be played, another discouraging start to their campaign suggests that more of the same may be in store for them in 2021-22. That’s why Minnesota shouldn’t delay the inevitable and already kickstart their rebuild around Anthony Edwards. This may be the only way to fast track their return to relevance.
Both sides will also benefit from this scenario. Making Towns available should entice playoff-caliber teams to cash in their assets and trade for the talented center to get them over the top. Thus, the 26-year old will finally get the chance to play on a competitive team.
Meanwhile, Towns will definitely fetch the Timberwolves a ton of value and future assets. Perhaps the pieces that will eventually turn their long-term fortunes around will be from the return they will get from trading away the former Kentucky big man.