Could KAT Be Heading To The Eastern Conference?

Could KAT Be Heading To The Eastern Conference?

By James Wilson

January 8, 2020

When you ask me what I think of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I struggle to find an answer. They have had extremely talented players in the past years, but other struggles have slowed them down. While I believe Kevin Garnett was a great player. I do think that his loyalty to the Minnesota franchise cost him dearly. I also believe that Kevin Love would have been ultimately stopped from becoming the player to lead Minnesota to the promised land. It is unlikely that Love would have said no to an extremely lucrative contract from other contenders.

So when I saw that Karl Anthony-Towns is getting disgruntled with his time in Minnesota, I am not surprised. But I don’t think KAT will be moved in days to come. However, I believe that two teams in the Eastern Conference could realistically have their eyes on KAT’s services. 

But before we discuss what teams would even care about this blip on the endless stream of the “one last piece in Minnesota won't work” headlines, we should look at the type of teams that would care. First of all these teams would probably be young and exciting with a very good talented core (an actual young core) OR teams that would be buying in order to strengthen themselves for the playoff race. 

The Atlanta Hawks are waiting on Trae Young to develop and hoping that Cam Reddish will become the next piece they needed. But if they have the opportunity to get a piece as good as KAT. They should consider it. As for the trade itself; 

Minnesota sends: Karl Anthony Towns

Atlanta sends: Allen Crabbe, Jabari Parker, ATL 2020 1st

The reason I think Minnesota would take this trade is because they can get Jabari Parker, who is a young player who fell out of rotation for Chicago.I bet they feel they can get some value out of his contract, especially for 6.5 Million dollars. Allen Crabbe can add shooting prowess to Minnesota (despite recent inefficiencies he is 38.9% 3P career shooter) who currently sits 29th in the NBA in 3P% and just 5th in 3PA. (So it is clear the Timberwolves want to shoot, but cannot)

I know that Allen Crabbe’s contract is a horrible value. But Atlanta is currently on track (as of writing) for a Top 3 Pick in the 2020 draft. So Minnesota would be getting a young player for cheap, a shooter for short term successes behind the line and a very good pick.  

I think Atlanta would take this gamble on pairing a stretch 5 with a volume shooter in Trae Young. Also KAT is someone who is not shy of the Pick and Roll offense, meaning offensively this pairing is hard to beat: Two players with a 3 point stroke and good looks on the inside. 

The Nets are the team out of these two that I think would take some convincing and as much as I think it would help them, I doubt the managers in Brooklyn would take this trade. So why am I discussing this? I believe this trade with Brooklyn gives both teams great value. Brooklyn is treading water right now in the east. At the time of writing they are 16-20. Which is just not good enough for a team that believed they could contend before Kevin Durant came back. So I think if Minnesota gave Brooklyn a call about KAT. I can guarantee they would at least pick up the phone. 

Minnesota sends: Karl Anthony Towns, 2020 2nd Conditional. (Condition being that if Brooklyn misses the playoffs, the pick becomes a 2021 1st)

Brooklyn sends: Spencer Dinwiddie, Deandre Jordan , Garrett Temple.

Deandre Jordan is at the very least worth a double-double each night, and he will work hard to get it. He has been this way since Los Angeles and age has not changed that fact. Spencer Dinwiddie is probably what will cause Brooklyn to wince at this trade. Dinwiddie is currently averaging 22.5 points and 6.3 assists on 30.7 minutes per game. He is the statistics leader in both categories for Brooklyn while Kyrie Irving sits out with an injury. I think Brooklyn would have to wait until Kyrie Irving comes back from injury before considering this trade because without Dinwiddie, the Nets would probably lose their grip on the playoff race. I believe if Irving comes back and performs as we expect he will be, they can trade Dinwiddie for the potential of KAT.

Garrett Temple is 31 year old guard who plays close to 30 minutes a game (which is probably too much). He averages 10.5 points per game and around 2.5 assists per game. Honestly I threw Temple in to make the money work. I think the fact that Minnesota would be getting Dinwiddie would be enough for them to swallow their pride and take Temple. Not that Temple is a bum, but that they won’t be getting cap relief while getting rid of KAT. 

I threw that interesting pick in there because I think conditional draft picks will start to become the norm for the NBA. For NHL fans, we saw the Taylor Hall trade have a pick very similar to this.

I know that Golden State is very interested in Anthony-Towns and I believe they have the best chance of trading for him. (I chose to pretend as if they weren’t miles ahead in the trade race for KAT) I also think he would love to continue his career in the Bay Area rather than play in Minnesota. Do I need to mention how much more marketed he would be? He has great endorsement deals now, but in San Francisco there is much more money to be made. 

I would think Minnesota would be smart enough to trade him to the east so he does not become a menace to them. 

So where will Karl Anthony towns be playing by seasons end? It’s hard to say. But one thing is clear. The Timberwolves need to move and capitalize on this. Either appease him or trade him, but for competitiveness sake, don't do nothing.

PHOTO: Jordan Johnson (Getty Images)