Sunday, December 04, 2022

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns Makes All-NBA Third Team, Opens Door to Massive Contract Expansion


Karl-Anthony Towns knows all that comes with winning. Disrespect, underestimation, it all perishes in the wake of victory.

“Just gotta win,” he has said countless times in the past.

How true is this for the center of the Timberwolves.

Twice in his career, Towns has made it to the playoffs. In both seasons, the Towns have made an All-NBA team.

His second such honor was announced on Tuesday, when Townes was revealed as a member of the 2021-22 third team, the All-NBA. He finished as the center of the third team, with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic being first team, and Joel Embiid in second.

Towns finished with 38 second-team votes and 60 third-team votes, leaving him well ahead of fellow centers Rudy Gobert of Utah and Bam Adebayo of Miami for the third-team spot.

And with this latest honor comes a largely expected payday. Towns is now eligible to sign this summer to Supermax, a four-year extension worth $210.9 million, which will build on the remaining two years on his current deal.

While the new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who was named to the position on Monday, has yet to make public comment since the team’s basketball decision was made, it is a close lock the Timberwolves actually propose to Town. and they are expected to sign here. Towns was asked about the expected expansion shortly after Minnesota’s loss to Memphis in Game 6 of the Western Conference playoffs.

“I love this city. So obviously things will happen this summer, when they happen. I’ve been here for so long, I don’t like to make predictions,” Towns said. “If it comes I’ll let it come. And if it comes, it comes, when it comes we’ll deal with it. Just take every day, I’ve been here long enough to know that every day things change.” So just be happy where everything is now.”

And he’s certainly happy with Minnesota and the current state of the franchise. After years of losing, the Timberwolves seem to be in a stable position, built on the strength of Towns, Anthony Edwards and head coach Chris Finch to experience continued success.

“The future is bright and the team and everyone are very excited about what next year could have in store for us,” Towns said after the season ended. “I’m already in this mindset of, ‘I’ve got to start getting ready for next year,’ because it’s not usually the season we have as long. We have to be right.”

Towns had a big 2021-22 campaign to build on. With some seasons derailed somewhat by injuries, illnesses, and family tragedy, this season Towns seemed like the center he was always on his way to becoming.

He averaged 24.6 points — highlighting a 60-point performance in San Antonio — and 9.8 rebounds this season, shooting 41 percent from the 3-point range while serving as a vital force in Minnesota’s revamped, improved defense . The big man was asked to use his agility to strike out pick-and-roll defenses on the periphery, a role in which he often excelled.

A lot was put on Towns’ plate every night. And more often than not, he gave.

Towns was ranked 10th in player efficiency ratings among NBA players this season and was ranked fourth in win shares and 14th in boxes plus-minus, more than the value of replacement players. Minnesota overtook their opponents by 5.3 points per 100 possessions when Towns was on the floor – the best mark on the team.

Patrick Beverly marveled at Towns’ professional approach and availability to play every day. He has always been the calling card of the town. He shows up and gives you his best. And, this season, his best was really, really good.

“What comes to mind is just his high-level consistency, you know, and his efficiency. He was extremely skilled,” Finch said. “I thought his defense was excellent too, and I liked his leadership. We asked him to come into this season (with the thought) that the best way to lead our team was to be the best version of himself.” , which gives us a great chance to win every night, and something that people want to follow – some people want to follow. He’s made it all about winning this year, and ever since I’ve been here, He’s made it all about winning, so he’s at the point where he’s still going in his prime.

Considering he just finished his seventh NBA season, it’s easy to forget that Towns is just 26 years old. The best is yet to come – likely in the coming four to five seasons. Those seasons would be spent in Minnesota, and townspeople would be well compensated for their efforts. He’s equally qualified to help put the Timberwolves back on the NBA map.

“I think this is the beginning of something special,” Towns said. “I feel like this is the first time in this franchise where so many pieces are happening. It doesn’t sound like so much mayhem. It doesn’t seem so random. But we’ll see.”

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