As the New York Knicks transition into the off-season, potential trade targets are beginning to come into focus.
Minnesota Timberwolves star player, Karl-Anthony Towns, is closely linked with head coach Tom Thibodeau, thereby making him a strong acquisition candidate for the forthcoming off-season.
Towns, known as KAT, recently enjoyed a Yankee game, even throwing the inaugural pitch. Being a native of New Jersey, he is well-acquainted with the area.
Although his transition to New York appears to be effortless, the Knicks must exercise caution while considering an athlete who participated in merely 29 games last season and has exceeded 70 games just once over the past four years.
Nevertheless, it has been reported that there would definitely be mutual interest between the two parties.
Sean Deveney from Heavy Sports cites an anonymous Eastern Conference executive who believes the Knicks will make a move.
“The interest in making that happen would be mutual, for sure,” the source said. “KAT and the Knicks are intertwined. To some people, it is more a matter of when they go after him, not if.”
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What could Karl-Anthony Towns contribute to the Knicks?
Despite participating in just 29 matches in the previous season, KAT recorded an average of 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks, while his field goal percentage stood at .495. Boasting a career average of .395 from beyond the arc, he demonstrates exceptional scoring versatility from the center position.
At the age of 24 in 2019, he scored a career-best 26.5 points per game. Now 27, his peak years may still be on the horizon.
A three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player, Anthony Towns certainly has the superstar stature to uplift a Knicks team that is seeking a fitting addition.
Nevertheless, Knicks President Leon Rose would need to consent to take on his upcoming four-year, $224.2 million contract, which is projected to pay him more than $50 million per season, including a player option for $62 million for the 2027–28 season.
The reality is, the Knicks could negotiate a trade for Joel Embiid at a significantly lower annual salary, but they might need to relinquish more assets, given Embiid’s perennial MVP candidacy.
While the forthcoming off-season for the Knicks is expected to be rife with speculation, it is clear that they need to pair Jalen Brunson with another superstar, and Towns certainly has the potential at a young age.