San Antonio Spurs: One offseason trade with every team – Minnesota Timberwolves
By Dylan Carter
We’re bringing out the hypothetical big guns and playing with the idea that the San Antonio Spurs offer a deal for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ star center.
Most editions of this series have been about trading off stars for younger players or making minor deals for long-term gain, but in today’s installment, we’re bringing out the big guns. For five seasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been trying to build around star center Karl-Anthony Towns and for five seasons, they’ve failed. Maybe the San Antonio Spurs would have a better time.
In all likelihood, KAT is going to stick around through this next season without asking out. Minnesota hired a top-notch executive in Gersson Rosas who made great decisions so far that include the acquisition of Towns’ friend and new co-star, D’Angelo Russell. They’ll likely want to give this a try before anything major, so the whole situation is a bit unrealistic.
Nonetheless, crazier things have happened and spending your whole career with a franchise like Minnesota’s isn’t ideal. Kareem left Milwaukee after six years, Shaq left after four in Orlando and Dwight Howard left after eight. The point being, NBA big men with the potential to be all-time great talents don’t stick around waiting for things to work out.
Unless the T-Wolves figure something out soon, the clock will keep ticking on Towns’ time in Minnesota. When the time comes, the San Antonio Spurs should have the assets to make a deal work—especially in this coming offseason.
The San Antonio Spurs offer the Minnesota Timberwolves a haul for Karl-Anthony Towns: Derrick White, Jakob Poeltl (S&T), Rudy Gay, a 2021 First-Round pick swap and a 2023 First-Round pick swap.
Some might say this is way too much and some could say it’s not enough, but you have to be willing to put your best assets on the line to go out and get a star player. Towns has been a phenomenal player through the first portion of his career but Minnesota hasn’t been an environment that can teach him how to excel. For the most part, he’s had to carry the workload for himself without being taught a true winning strategy.
Putting a player as talented as him in the Spurs’ organization dramatically changes their long-term outlook. He’s only 24-years-old with an All-NBA team under his belt and the most intriguing three-level scoring potential from a big man since Dirk Nowitzki. With that in mind, giving up three players and two first-round picks is worth the haul.
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Parting ways with Derrick White would truly stink but from the Timberwolves’ perspective, he’s the best young Spur to pair with Russell. He can play both on and off the ball as a creator and defender who can take on the other team’s best ball-handler at positions one-through-three. Via a sign-and-trade worth $32 million, the Wolves would get back a promising defensive anchor in Jakob Poeltl to hold down the paint on both ends and set an otherworldly number of screens.
Adding Rudy Gay gives veteran depth on an expiring deal to make the salaries match, plus the Timberwolves get the Spurs’ pick in 2021 and 2023 if it ends up being better than theirs. With the new NBA Draft odds implemented as of last year, those could end up being extremely valuable if the Spurs slip back out of the playoffs.
There are a lot of trade packages that’d be worth eying if Towns proclaimed that he wanted out of Minnesota, but this is a great launching spot for both sides.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Pacific Division: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors — Northwest Division: Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets.