The New York Knicks struggled during the postseason for a variety of reasons, one of them being a lack of scoring production from their big men. Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson simply couldnâ€™t get the job done offensively, despite being solid defenders and shot blockers. With Mitchell Robinson heading into the final year of his deal and averaging just 8.4 points over three seasons of play, the team could be looking into a more efficient scorer at the position.
There are several players who could fit the bill, but one rumor indicates potential interest in Minnesota Timberwolves star, Karl Anthony-Towns. Adding an elite scoring center to a team that already has a Julius Randle and RJ Barrett represents a significant addition, but at what cost?
Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis proposed a trade scenario that would have the Knicks part ways with significant capital in order to land Towns:
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive:Â C Mitchell Robinson, F Kevin Knox II, F Obi Toppin, NYK 2021 1st Round Pick (Pick #19), DAL 2021 1st Round Pick (Pick #21), NYK 2023 1st Round Pick (Top-10 Protected)
Anthony-Towns is currently on a five-year, $158.2 million deal, and is set to earn $31 million next season with three years left on his contract. At 25 years old, the Minnesota star averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 assists, 10.6 rebounds, and shot .486 from the field this past season. In addition, he connected on .387 of his shots from downtown, averaging 6.3 per game. This was the lowest mark since his 2016 season, traditionally averaging over .400 from 3-PT land.
There is no question that Karl is a bonafide superstar, and luring him to New York would obviously command an astronomical allocation of assets. In this proposed deal, Minnesota, which is seemingly a rebuilding team, would add Robinson, Toppin, and three first-round selections.
The question is, is it worth parting ways with so much talent and assets for the Knicks?
Alternatively, they could consider an option like Myles Turner, who the Indiana Pacers might be looking to trade this off-season with Domantas Sabonis playing a similar role.
Turner is a poor manâ€™s Anthony-Towns, averaging 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and shooting .477 from the field. However, he is an elite defender, averaging a career-high 3.4 blocks per game compared to Karl’s 1.1. He is a true defensive center with sufficient scoring prowess and untapped potential, which might fit Tom Thibodeau’s mold a bit more efficiently at a far lesser cost.
Personally, Iâ€™m not even convinced the proposed deal would sway Minnesota, as they would be recouping a former first-round bust, a second-year player who didnâ€™t make a significant impact this past season, and Robinson in the final year of his rookie deal. The three first-round picks represent complete shots in the dark. Ultimately, they would be parting ways with one of the best players in the NBA for no guaranteed starters or producers, aside from Mitch, who was injured for a large portion of the 2020-21 season.
In addition, the Knicks might be on willing to part with this much capital in the first place, rather than allocating it toward a player like Turner and spending their first-round selections to upgrade the point guard position, or at least provide support behind a free agent signing.
Do you think the Knicks should attempt to trade for Karl Anthony-Towns or would this be a mistake? Comment below!