Is KAT The Next Superstar To REQUEST A TRADE?!?
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It goes without saying that the Minnesota Timberwolves have had issues for some time now. The fact that they’ve made the playoffs only once since 2004, which was in 2018, when they fell to the Houston Rockets in the first round, is among the most striking examples of that. Also, all of us know how the Jimmy Butler situation played out with Andrew Wiggins and, especially, Karl-Anthony Towns.
However, for all the criticism, legitimate or not, KAT gets for not wanting it enough and not being a proper leader, the fact remains - he’s been one of the best big men in the league for most of his career. But the personal accolades haven’t brought any tangible success so far with the Timberwolves.
So will he decide to take matters into his own hands and try his luck with a new team with a better chance of winning? That’s my question. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Make no mistake about it, Towns, in his first five seasons averaged 22.7 points and 11.8 boards, and 1.5 blocks per game. Also, his three-point % has been at 39.7% for his career, which is incredible for a big man. His 41.2% even saw him ranked 15 in 3-pt percentage at the end of last season.
And he recently became Minnesota's all time leader in 3 pointers made. Which honestly says more about how bad this franchise has been, than it says about Towns. But let’s move on and see the landscape of the situation.
Yes, Wolves management and Coach Ryan Saunders know what a player they have. He is under a 5-year, $158 million super-max extension signed before the start of the 2018-19 season. He’s been so valuable to them even tho he’s missed some time with injuries and Covid this year.
Sure, the franchise got D’Angelo Russell partly because Towns wanted to play with him.
Yes, KAT and his family have experienced a lot of tragedy since the start of the COVID situation.
And Yes, it doesn’t help that the Wolves will, barring some miracle, fail to make the playoffs again.
Having said all of that, considering the trajectory of the player and the constant turmoil facing the franchise, it’s safe to ask the question Wolves nation wants to avoid at all costs:
Is Towns wasting his talent and, more importantly, will he follow the example of James Harden, Anthony Davis, and, Kyrie Irving by leaving the organisation via trade after asking for one.
Let’s see where the Wolves are currently at. The situation, to put it mildly, is not good. As we mentioned before, they will in all likelihood miss the Playoffs again this year. D’angelo Russell’s points per game average is under 20 for the first time since the 2017-2018 season. And on top of that he got injured and will miss 4-6 weeks.
Also, Nobody knows for now what exactly Anthony Edwards can and will turn into.
That and all seasons of losing since Towns entered the league will surely lead to the big man, to ask himself whether he wants to be labelled “That very good, if not great, player who nonetheless can’t carry his team to the playoffs nevermind a greater success”.
Though such labelling is too general and doesn’t take into consideration major important aspects, such as how good your teammates are, infrastructure, and quality coaching, the way NBA narratives are shaped in the current era, things surely seem to be headed that way. Of him thinking about if it’s even forth staying in Minnesota.
Though Towns is just 25, there are some who believe that he shouldn’t wait until 2024, when he will be an unrestricted free agent to choose his next destination. Whether he will want to get traded to a winning situation, a personal best-case scenario or, the most suitable option for him, that’s a topic for another day.
However, when it comes to asking for a trade, if or when that happens, that’s a tricky business.
Most importantly, the franchise must do what is best for it, ignoring, if the situation allows it, the player’s personal preferences. Also, it may not be in a rush to trade a player because it is somewhat prevented from getting full value in return because the potential team trading for KAT would know he wants out.
The most logical scenario for now, and most likely, next year is Towns continuing to deliver for the Wolves and demonstrate, at least publicly, belief in the work of the coach, management, and his teammates. If the Wolves put the necessary talent around him, if Russell returns to his best, if Edwards develops like a first pick is expected to, there would be no objective reason why Towns would want to leave. However, that’s a lot of “ifs”.
Also, it will not be surprising at all if the pressure of the way players are evaluated in the current era, that is, the “Ringz” culture will affect his decision on his future.
That’s something that, however, cuts both ways.