The offseason still hasn’t begun for the New York Knicks (hopefully it’ll be a while before it does), but the offseason rumors have already started. Trae Young and the Hawks falling to the Celtics has ignited talks about whether or not he’ll stay in Atlanta, but there’s another player whose future has been a talking point, too.
Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves were ousted in five games against the No. 1 seed Denver Nuggets. For the second year in a row, Minnesota was eliminated in the first round. Towns was drafted in 2015 and has yet to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $224 million supermax last summer, but there’s been speculation about whether or not he could be traded during the offseason. The Rudy Gobert trade hasn’t worked out as Minnesota hoped and rather than continue to be mediocre at best, the Timberwolves could make a couple more surprising moves this summer.
Heavy’s Sean Deveney reported that according to a league source, there could be mutual interest between KAT and the Knicks.
"“The interest in making that happen would be mutual, for sure,” one league source told Heavy Sports. “KAT and the Knicks are intertwined. To some people, it is more a matter of when they go after him, not if.”"
Will Knicks’ big trade be going after Karl-Anthony Towns in offseason?
After not moving forward with a Donovan Mitchell trade last summer (which is ironically what helped the Knicks get past the Cavaliers in the first round), New York is still on the lookout for a star to trade for. If the Timberwolves show a willingness to listen to Karl-Anthony Towns trade offers this summer, the Knicks front office will likely pick up the phone.
Towns not only has a connection with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him in Minnesota but he’s also a CAA client. He signed with CAA’s Leon Rose (hello!) and Richie Felder in 2015. He grew up in New Jersey as a Knicks fan and went to Kentucky for one season before being drafted by the Timberwolves No. 1 overall eight years ago.
Towns played in only 29 games for Minnesota during the 2022-23 regular season because of a calf strain. To get an idea of what he can accomplish in a “full” season, he averaged 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 2021-22 while shooting 52.9% from the floor and 41% from three in 74 games. He’s a career 39.5% shooter as a seven-foot center and won the All-Star Three-Point Contest in 2022.
He has connections to New York, but getting a deal done would be challenging. Mitchell Robinson was huge for the Knicks in their first-round series against the Cavaliers and trading for KAT would most likely mean that Robinson would be on the move. New York shouldn’t want to create another version of a Gobert and Towns disaster. The Knicks would have to give up a few young players as well. RJ Barrett is a player that fans have called for to be traded, but he’s finally started to find a groove in the playoffs.
Deveney wrote that league executives believe that the Nets, Heat, Blazers, and Pacers could be suitors for KAT, too. Once the offseason is officially in full force, more will be revealed about Towns’ future. Perhaps he’ll wind up staying in Minnesota.