The Phoenix Suns are armed with plenty of ammunition this offseason. A solid amount of cap space, attractive expiring contracts, young assets, and the number one overall pick can allow the Suns to make a bold move this offseason.
Could this bold move be a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for superstar Karl-Anthony Towns?
While it seems unlikely that the Wolves’ would part ways with their 22-year old phenom, it apparently isn’t going so smoothly in Minnesota between Towns and the team.
ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe said Towns and the Timberwolves are “not in a good place internally” during Friday’s episode of The Lowe Post.
Lowe was joined on the podcast by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and the two discussed the situation in Minnesota while offering up some interesting lines.
“I don’t think Anthony Davis is going anywhere any time soon,” Windhorst said. “But Karl Towns…now that might be a different story.”
Not only is Towns apparently unhappy, but Andrew Wiggins reportedly “whispered to teammates” that he was unhappy because he had become the Timberwolves’ third option behind Towns and Jimmy Butler, according to a report from 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson back in March of this year.
Towns’ college teammate, and current Phoenix Suns superstar, Devin Booker took to Twitter to play with the headlines, putting the following on Twitter:
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) May 19, 2018
Following recent comments made by Suns general manager Ryan McDonough who said that the team is willing to trade the Top Overall pick for the right return, it’s easy to draw a line connecting Towns and the Suns.
Keep in mind that the Suns are doing everything in their power to ensure that Booker remains with the franchise for many years to come, so they value his input. Booker could , if he hasn’t already, push for the Suns to explore a trade with Minnesota.
What would that look like?
Well, the Suns would almost certainly have to part with the #1 overall pick, which the Wolves could use to draft Towns’ replacement, Deandre Ayton.
The Suns would also have to throw in some young assets, such as Marquese Chris and perhaps Dragan Bender, along with an expiring contract, such as Tyson Chandler.
That would allow the Suns to take Towns in return and perhaps some other players as well, to make all the financials work.
From the Suns’ perspective it makes plenty of sense, from the Wolves’ not that much.
But, if there is a level of disconnect between Towns and the Wolves, the team may decide it’s best to part ways now and sell high on the young big man, instead of risking the future success of the team, which had a promising season and a brief playoff run.
While this scenario is very, very unlikely, and more “pipe dream” than anything of true substance, but the dots certainly connect, on paper, and it’s very logical that if the Wolves are open to fielding offers for Towns, that the Suns may be among the first teams to call, armed with perhaps the best return for Minnesota out of any player in the league.
For now, it’s just a fun scenario to play out in fantasy-land.
Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns Training to Think Like a Guard
Towns is training to add more guard-like skill sets to his arsenal
“We really did a lot of guard-oriented thought process,” trainer Matt Mazarei said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski.
“During his big-man work we were making him think like a guard, see every option, use those ball drills. He does it, but now it’s more of an emphasis. See the slashers early. He wants to get everyone involved. It’s a team game. That’s the only way they’re going to get into the playoffs.”
Towns posted 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game last season for Minnesota.
Wolves’ Ryan Saunders Wants Karl-Anthony Towns to Improve Pick and Roll Defense
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders is looking for superstar center Karl-Anthony Towns to improve one specific area of his defense this upcoming season.
His defense against pick and rolls.
“It’s his feel in terms of pick-and-roll coverage. Not being in no man’s land,” Saunders said, according to the Star Tribune’s Chris Hine. “With that, I understand the responsibility that we have as a staff and I have as a coach, we need to find what his best coverage is, and really commit to that, and for him to become very good at that coverage.”
While Towns has shown improvements on the defensive end of the court, he is not known for his defense, something that will need to improve id he plans on making a difference on an ascending Timberwolves team.
Timberwolves Haven’t Come Close to Trading Andrew Wiggins
According to the report, Wiggins’ camp was unhappy that his name kept coming up in trade rumors in an effort for the Wolves to clear the necessary cap space to sign then-free agent D’Angelo Russell.
The report states that the Wolves never had a deal worth considering, and they remain focused on putting Wiggins in positions where he can be more effective on the court.
Furthermore, Wolves’ head coach Ryan Saunders is implementing an offensive system that will better play to Wiggins’ strengths.
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