Could the Knicks be a trade destination for Minnesota Timberwolves star big man?

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives to the basket against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks seem ready to finally pull off a blockbuster trade and acquire that final superstar necessary to get them over the hump and competing for an NBA championship. One superstar big man could be the answer for the Knicks as they aim to load up with enough firepower to transform into a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves could be trading Karl-Anthony Towns this offseason

karl anthony-towns, knicks

The Minnesota Timberwolves are fresh off a 56-win season, but with changing ownership, certain financial restrictions may lead to a pivot to avoid long-term ramifications. This begins with the 2015 first-overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns.

Following the Wolves drafting Andrew Wiggins at No. 1 a year prior, Towns showed tremendous promise in his first few seasons, and constructing a winning roster around Towns saw the Wolves go to lengths of acquiring Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.

Following an infamous 2019 loss of Jimmy Butler and the 2020 season that saw the end of the “Wiggins Era” in Minnesota, The Timberwolves found themselves again, for the third time in seven seasons, with the first-overall pick. Drafting Anthony Edwards in the 2020 NBA Draft, fast forward to now, and Towns is the second option — at best — and no longer the cornerstone of the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The Timberwolves are experiencing front-office drama

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Glen Taylor, the majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, was expected to sell his stake in the team following an agreement between Taylor, Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez and his partner billionaire Marc Lore. Following what Taylor claimed was a lack of meeting payment deadlines on the part of Rodriguez and Lore, he called the deal off.

A-Rod and Lore deny these claims. They made a statement through Timberwolves PR, saying, “Glen Taylor’s statement is an unfortunate case of seller’s remorse that is short-sighted and disruptive to the team and the fans during a historic winning season.”

This could ultimately be a prolonged situation, but a three-person arbitration panel has been formed to review the contract and determine ownership. Tim Connelly, current President of Basketball Operations, was lured away from Denver by Rodriguez and Lore. The assurance from A-Rod has gone so far as him waiting in the tunnel following playoff games, at a critical crossroads in player contracts and league salary rules, nothing is certain on the future ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Towns under new ownership 

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off their most successful season in 20 years, the strategy is not usually to trade any pieces and run it back. From a business perspective, it was the Timberwolves’ most successful season, but Minnesota did not win it all.

With this, players are traded, and others naturally progress in their skill sets. As new restrictions were set in place by the CBA on crossing the salary threshold, this may affect ownership decisions across the league.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast stated, “I do not think they would tear the team apart, however, I do think there’s a possibility if the ownership change took place that Karl Towns’ role would be reevaluated.” 

KAT to the Knicks? 

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The Knicks saw their season go up in flames from countless injuries and a lack of offensive versatility. Towns is coming off an All-Star season that saw him average 21 points per game, shooting 41% from three-point range. A front office that may be looking to move Towns down the road coincides with a Knicks team looking to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference.

Rumors about Towns’s future have circulated heavily for the last couple of seasons. Seeing that Rodriguez and Lore have been hands-on since 2021, there seems to be fuel to this fire brewing in Minnesota.

In his last two games of the 2024 playoffs, Towns averaged 26.5 points, and 8.5 rebounds on 57% from the field and 48% from three-point range. The New York Knicks acquiring Towns would mark the end of an era in New York as the chances of Mitchell Robinson or Julius Randle being attached are high. 

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