Woj Names Two Likely Timberwolves Trade Candidates if Lore & A-Rod Buy Team

karl-anthony towns, jaden daniels Minnesota Timberwolves
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves are playing in one of the most important regular season games in franchise history tonight vs the Denver Nuggets. But grabbing the headlines tonight is the ongoing ownership battle between majority owner Glen Taylor and minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez.

Earlier this afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) reported that financial paperwork handed into the league by A-Rod and Lore projected a significant drop in player salary projections for the 2024-25 season, in order to get below the luxury tax line. In his piece, Woj suggests that a reduction like that meant the likely trade of a max player, but didn’t name any names.

Lore, A-Rod era would start with KAT, McDaniels on Timberwolves trade block

Hours later, he went on NBA Countdown (ESPN) and sat down with Malika Andrews to follow-up on his original report. This time, Woj comfortably names two likely Timberwolves players who would have been on the trade block, had Lore and A-Rod completed their purchase. As I originally suspected, Karl-Anthony Towns was one name, Jaden McDaniels was the other.

“Mark Lore, Alex Rodriguez [according to the] financial projections that they gave to the league office, to Glen Taylor, to a private equity firm, showed that they planned to drop down below the luxury tax, in their first season next year.

It’d be about a $25 million reduction in the payroll of this Timberwolves team, which would ultimately mean you’re going to trade one of their significant players. They’ll have three max players on their roster next year, so potentially that’s a Karl-Anthony Towns, a Jaden McDaniels. And that was among the concerns that Glen Taylor took into consideration when he voided that deal.”

Adrian Wojnarowski – NBA Countdown (ESPN)

I’ll be interested to see what this means for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ plans for Towns, should Taylor be successful in retaining majority ownership of the team. I’m not saying he leaked this report, but if trying to get below the luxury tax next season really did “spook” him from completing this deal, then what would be his reasoning for trading Karl-Anthony Towns in the offseason?

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Because there’s a legitimate argument to be made that Naz Reid is ready for a starting role in the NBA; that having KAT on the Wolves roster may not be worth how much you have to pay him, combined with the luxury tax ramifications.

But after these Woj bombs were dropped today, none of that really matters. If Taylor is still running the show this offseason and he signs off on a trade involving Towns that drops Minnesota below the luxury tax threshold, no reasonable explanation would convince the fanbase that he didn’t turn around and do exactly what this report is meant to scare fans into thinking A-Rod and Lore are going to do, if they get majority ownership.

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