Karl-Anthony Towns says it’s ‘championship or bankruptcy’ for Timberwolves after Rudi Gobert renews trade

It’s not often that the Minnesota Timberwolves stun the NBA world, but days in free agency that’s exactly what happened when the organization completed a blockbuster business deal with Rudy Gobert. In exchange for the All-Star position, Utah Jazz owners earned Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro and Jared Vanderbilt and four future first-round picks, three of which were unprotected.

In addition to being one of the highest prices ever paid for a star in the trade, and putting the entire commercial market out of whack in a poor season where Kevin Durant also expects to be dealt with, the move has created serious expectations for Wolves, both internal and external.

During a press conference on Friday about Four-year extension signed by $224 million Earlier this month, Karl-Anthony Towns said that Wolves are expecting to compete for the title.

“It’s about time,” Townes said. “The [Rudy Gobert] Trade takes place. There is no more time. There are no more excuses. We have to get it done now. It is now championship or bankruptcy. I have to go there and get the job done.”

Townes added that he and Goubert would complement each other well.

“I’m expecting a lot of wins for sure,” Townes said of his side, which has not won a play-off series since 2004. “I want to win. I’m not here just smoke. I really want to try that. Bring a championship here to Minnesota. I think Rudy adds a huge element to that.” He will be a huge part of us for being a championship team. My job is to help him as much as he will help me. His strengths are his weaknesses and his weaknesses are my strengths, so we will be able to play with each other.”

Much of the talk about the trade has focused on how much wolves have given up, and there is a large school of thought that has overpaid dramatically. But wherever you fall into this argument, there is no doubt that the team will be better on the field with Joubert. The three-time defensive player of the year is one of the best frame protectors in the league, and he will single-handedly improve the team’s defense and rebounding – both of which were the problem last season.

But there is a huge difference between getting better and competing for the title for a team that finished seventh in the Western Conference last season and had to win the game of play to reach the playoffs. For what it’s worth, here’s a look at SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh’s predictions for the wolves after Gobert’s trade. As you can see, you don’t have much hope of even making it to the finals.

before trade 41.6 50.7% 38.6% 0.38% 0.04%
after trade 45.9 56.0% 68.2% 1.12% 0.35%
difference +4.3 + 5.2% + 29.6% + 0.74% + 0.31%

The Wolves had some impressive moments in their first round match against the Memphis Grizzlies, and arguably they could have won that series. However, they won’t win the title last season, and there is still a gap between them and the other teams at the top of the West, especially now that the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets are expected to return to the key players who missed last season due to injuries. Of course, that doesn’t take into account some of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference like the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks.

You can’t blame Towns for ambition – he’s not going to get up there and say he’s just happy to go through the playoffs – but it’s possible that he and Wolves fans will be disappointed this season if they are really expecting a title.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: