Knicks Rumors: Team collecting pieces close to Karl-Anthony Towns

Knicks, Knicks Rumors, Karl-Anthony Towns (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Knicks, Knicks Rumors, Karl-Anthony Towns (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

When Leon Rose took over team operations for The Knicks back in March of 2020, it was made abundantly clear as to why the team made this specific move.

It was to leverage Rose’s relationships with some of the NBA’s elite in an attempt to attract them towards coming to NYC.

The main problem with the timing of the hire was that the players Rose has been closest with over the years wouldn’t become attainable for another 3-4 seasons or so.

That said, the ‘long game’ was the only approach the Knicks had available as the following few free agency classes were considered to be pretty weak in comparison to those in 2023 and 2024.

So in the meantime, Rose and Co had to make some decisions on who they’d like to target in the summers of 2023 and/or 2024 and make the right moves in the interim.

Could the Knicks be angling for Karl-Anthony Towns?

One of the players who they seem to be gearing up to go after is Karl-Anthony Towns.

The first domino to fall was, of course, Leon himself as he was Towns’ former agent.

The next piece of the equation was the hiring of Kenny Payne and making him the league’s highest-paid assistant coach in order to utilize his ties to former Kentucky players.

Then…things got a little quiet for a bit, until now.

Back in November of 2021, the Knicks added Kaalya Chones to be a component of their world-class developmental staff.

Chones had previously been a part of the Timberwolves D-Staff under Flip Saunders and had been known to have played a huge role in helping Towns acclimate to the league.

Shortly thereafter, the Knicks made a somewhat shocking move the day before this season’s trade deadline where they brought in former T-Wolves GM, Gersson Rosas who was notably fired back in September for breaking rules within the organization’s code of conduct.

Based on how Towns reacted to Rosas’ firing, there seems to have been a strong relationship between them that formed during their two years working together.

Marc Stein, an NBA Insider recently tied everything together in his recent newsletter (subscription required):

"The note about the Knicks that I initially intended to feature in this week’s around-the-league notes was how Rosas’ arrival, in addition to the presence of Kaalya Chones in player development, would double the organization’s quotient of Timberwolves alumni known to have a strong working relationship with Karl-Anthony Towns."

And although Towns and current Knicks’ Head Coach Tom Thibodeau were notably at odds with one another during Thibs’ tenure in Minnesota, the two have made strides toward mending the relationship in recent years.

Whether Thibs plays a role in the potential acquisition remains to be seen as Thibs may very well be on the hot seat after a disappointing start to his second season as HC of the Knicks.

Karl-Anthony Towns is from the immediate area as he was raised in New Jersey, and since he’s known to be a family man, perhaps being close to home would play a role in his wanting to come play for the Knicks as well.

It’ll be interesting to see what else transpires between now and when Town’s contract is set to expire in the summer of 2024 where he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

For now, we’re left here just to speculate.

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