The Toronto Raptors appear to have put some of the offseason noise in the past as they try to gear up for a run back to the postseason. Not every team has been so fortunate, as Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves once again find themselves mired in controversy and uncertainty.
Towns is coming off of another excellent season in which he averaged 24.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, but his Timberwolves once again missed the playoffs. Based on some of the latest rumblings, there is a nonzero chance that Minnesota decides to once again wipe the slate clean.
President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was dismissed just days before the preseason, with Sachin Gupta taking over. Towns has stated publically his disbelief and frustration with the move, and while talks of a Towns trade haven’t reached a fever pitch just yet, that doesn’t mean teams won’t inquire about him.
Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors might need to wait in the weeds until Towns becomes available in earnest, but should they? Do they have a chance? They have some pieces to move, and Towns would change the scope of their offense for the better if they pull this deal off.
Are the Toronto Raptors able to land Karl-Anthony Towns?
Towns’ contract will pay him around $31.6 million in 2021-22, $33.8 million in 2022-23, and $38 million in 2023-24. While he is the highest-paid center in the NBA not named Rudy Gobert, that contract doesn’t look that bad for someone of his caliber.
Towns might also appeal to Toronto because he can fix two of their biggest issues. Not only is he one of the best rebounders the game has to offer in addition to his interior scoring, but very few 6-11 centers can stroke it from 3-point range in the same way he can. Imagine what Nurse could do with a center that can snipe teams to death like Towns?
He wouldn’t come for cheap, as pieces like Pascal Siakam and a large chunk of their draft capital would have to be sent away in exchange for Towns. With Ujiri allegedly committing to a retooling process, they would have to reverse course on several of their organizational decrees.
While the Kawhi Leonard trade won’t happen every season, the fact Ujiri has shown willingness to make moves like this out of the blue proves that future ground-shaking trades can’t be ruled out. Towns has been languishing in the lottery with Minnesota, but Toronto would be a playoff team with him in the lineup.
This trade likely won’t happen unless the Wolves completely bottom out, decide to blow it up, and start over. The Raptors would need to part with a ton of assets in order to get him, but he’s such a unique player that if there is even a chance he is available, Masai Ujiri needs to give Minnesota a call.