Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed on a five-year, $190 million contract that makes it clear who the team’s cornerstone will be moving forward.
Minnesota secured Towns with a super-max extension days after fellow All-Star Jimmy Butler told the team he wanted to be traded. Butler has reportedly clashed with Towns and told coach Tom Thibodeau of his trade desire on Tuesday.
However, the Towns extension is not tied to Butler’s situation. The Timberwolves were intent on extending Towns, who turns 23 in November, even if Butler wanted to stay.
While the signing has no impact on Butler, the franchise’s decision to extend Towns before Monday’s media day removes a bit of the cloud over the Timberwolves, who are not expecting Butler to be at media day or the start of training camp on Tuesday.
Thibodeau does not want to trade Butler, but it is an untenable situation that must be resolved before it drags too deep into the preseason. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who was in New York on Thursday and Friday for NBA meetings, is involved in trade talks and is looking for the best possible deal regardless of Butler’s preferred destinations, which are New York, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN.
However, Butler is open to playing for other playoff-caliber teams, especially in the Eastern Conference.
Towns was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and has averaged 21.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game on 54.3% shooting in his three seasons. He has also played all 82 games in each of his three seasons. Last season, Towns averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks and was named an All-Star for the first time.
ESPN was the first to report the extension. Shortly after the news broke, Towns posted a highlight video on Twitter that ended with “5 More.”
“5 More” pic.twitter.com/aBRVJJBvdh
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 23, 2018