NBA Execs Expect Timberwolves to Trade Karl-Anthony Towns This Summer

Karl-Anthony Towns
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

All is well with in Minnesota Timberwolves land. Led by the All-Star trio of Chris Finch, Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and almost sure-fire Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert, the Wolves sit atop the Western Conference and look to enter the All-Star break on a 4-game winning streak, if they can win in Portland vs the Trail Blazers Thursday night.

Related: Mike Conley Says Rudy Gobert Makes Same Impact on NBA Games as LeBron James, Steph Curry

The playoffs will ultimately determine how successful this season is for the Tim Connelly’s squad. But the level of success they reach in 2023-24 may not have a huge effect on some major changes that could rock the roster, whenever the season eventually ends, whether that be in the Spring or Summer.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Sticky Salary Situation

karl-anthony towns
Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, most 1st place teams don’t face a lot of questions about blowing up their roster, but the Minnesota Timberwolves will find themselves in a tricky situation this offseason. When the Timberwolves traded for Rudy Gobert, he and Karl-Anthony Towns were the only max players on roster.

From a salary cap and luxury tax standpoint, that is where the NBA wants teams to be. Sure, you’re over the cap. But remaining under the luxury thresholds means minimal penalties and a beneficiary share of the league’s revenue sharing pie.

Related: Pat Bev Says Marcus Morris ‘Leaning Towards’ Signing with Minnesota Timberwolves

Next season, though, Anthony Edwards’ new max contract kicks, and Towns’ will be upgraded to a super-max. That would mean the Wolves pay a luxury tax bill as high as $50 million, along with numerous other penalties both financially and from a roster-building standpoint.

Karl-Anthony Towns appears to be odd max-contract out

So, what’s the plan? Nobody knows for sure but the feeling around league circles is that Karl-Anthony Towns will be the odd-max contract left out of Minnesota’s future plans. NBA insider, Howard Beck (The Ringer), is the latest to come to this realization, after he spoke with multiple NBA executives during the NBA trade deadline, about what they see happening this offseason.

“How much tax are they going to pay when [Anthony Edwards’] extension kicks in and KAT’s extension jumps?” said an Eastern Conference exec.

When it came to the the Timberwolves, NBA decision makers all pointed to the same thing. Karl-Anthony Towns and the organization’s sticky 2024 luxury tax situation. Their conclusion: Wolves fans should enjoy KAT while they can.

“The Minnesota Timberwolves—now leading the West at 37-16—have soaring expectations and a soaring payroll that will almost certainly have to be reduced soon to avoid a massive luxury-tax bill under the new CBA. The most likely solution? A trade of Karl-Anthony Towns. “I think it happens this summer,” said one Western Conference exec.”

Anonymous Western Conference exec on Timberwolves’ trading Karl-Anthony Towns
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