Knicks’ next big move could be for Timberwolves superstar

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

The New York Knicks scored a win by trading for reigning steals leader O.G. Anunoby on Sunday, but we’re handed a blow with the news that Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell is unlikely to be traded by the deadline.

In search of that vaunted star player they’ve been pursuing for quite some time, another candidate remains on the Knicks’ radar with just over a month to make something happen.

Knicks Appear to be in the Hunt to Chase KAT Before Feb. 8 Rolls Around

As Shams Charania of The Athletic detailed earlier today, the Knicks’ interest level in Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns remains high, as he outlined on Basketball on X:

Reuniting Towns with his former head coach and current Knicks leader Tom Thibodeau is an option his team doesn’t want to miss out on in their quest to stack the roster for a 2024 championship run.

A precedent exists for the Knicks to swing hard on a play for Towns.

What Could Towns Bring to the Knicks’ Frontcourt?

Mitchell Robinson’s season-ending ankle injury puts New York at a disadvantage down low, even with Isaiah Hartenstein, Precious Achiuwa, Jericho Sims and Taj Gibson expected to bear the burden at center.

Towns’ ability to stretch the floor and pass out of the post are two elements the Knicks are completely void of at the position.

Only five players average more points out of the post than Towns, who scores 3.6 points per night with his back to the basket. He’s also the only player in the top 10 to do so at a 67.5 percent clip.

Though quantitatively he’s put up fewer assists, qualitatively, his vision and feel for finding cutters would go a long way in facilitating more off-ball movement for coach Thibodeau’s troops.

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Are There Factors That Could Deter The Knicks From Offering a Trade Package to the Wolves for Towns?

This season, Towns has taken a backseat to Anthony Edwards. Consequently, his scoring is down. With that, he’s averaging more turnovers (3 TO) and personal fouls (3.8 PF) than assists (2.9 APG) for the first time since his 2018-19 campaign, which is something for New York to look at with a watchful eye.

A change of scenery could turn that ship around, as Towns would presumably be more heavily featured in the Knicks’ offense next to a combination of Brunson, Randle, or both.

Time is ticking for the Knicks to get a deal done this season. Towns is on the table, as is Philadelphia 76ers reigning MVP Joel Embiid, but not many other options are reportedly out there as of yet, though new rumors spring up with regularity.