If the Minnesota Timberwolves ever decide to move on from star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, don't be surprised if the New York Knicks make a major push to land him.
"The interest in making that happen would be mutual, for sure," an NBA source told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports. "KAT and the Knicks are intertwined. To some people, it is more a matter of when they go after him, not if."
They won't be alone. Per that report, the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers were also "among the teams executives mentioned as potential suitors for Towns."
One Eastern Conference executive thinks the Knicks are a particularly logical fit, however:
"You can still sell high on Towns even though it was not a great year for him. He's signed. He's still young (27). And he's good. But you need to have a tougher team around him, and you want him in a comfort zone. That is why the Knicks are always coming up—he is from Jersey, he has a base there. And personnel-wise, it would be a good mix. Everyone knows the connections there, everyone knows there is an interest."
Would it be hasty for the Timberwolves to deal Towns only one year into the Rudy Gobert experiment? Probably. With Towns under contract through the 2026-27 season (with a player option for 2027-28), the Wolves don't have to rush into a decision unless Towns decides to force a deal.
But at some point, if the current roster can't get past the first round of the postseason—which Minnesota hasn't done since the 2003-04 season—taking a longer look at which players the team wants to build around will be in order.
Anthony Edwards is already a star, and he's only 21, which puts him on a different timeline than Towns. He's the future in Minnesota, and at some point, he'll be the player whom the team will build around.
A Towns trade could eventually make sense, especially if Minnesota can recoup some of the draft picks from the Gobert trade or bring aboard younger players such as Knicks wing RJ Barrett and/or guard Immanuel Quickley.
An Eastern Conference executive mulled over the potential compensation the Timberwolves could get in return:
"No matter the success this year, the Knicks are going to keep being aggressive. So, you'd want to start with R.J. Barrett there. But you can send (Obi) Toppin, you can send (Quentin) Grimes, (Miles) McBride. They do not want to trade (Immanuel) Quickley but if the target is Towns, maybe they would change that. You'd play Towns at the 5 if you were New York so they'd probably have Mitchell Robinson in the deal, and he could go to a third team. A lot of possibilities and Minnesota might be a better team by putting it all on Edwards and getting the right pieces from that mix."
It's an interesting framework for both sides. A core of Towns, Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and a number of two-way players around them would make sense. The Wolves could build around players like Edwards, Barrett, Toppin and perhaps Quickley.
Will it actually happen? That seems unlikely this offseason. But it could be something worth monitoring down the line.