After reaching the NBA playoffs last season for the first time in nearly 15 years, the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to finally have a winning blueprint again.
Their core is constructed of the talented duo of Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, but it remains to be seen just how long that stays intact. Earlier this offseason, Jimmy Butler turned down an extension with the Wolves and there’s been a perceived rift between Towns and head coach Tom Thibodeau dating back to last season. Towns recently addressed his future in Minnesota, expressing that things have to be discussed before he commits long-term. Following from Star Tribune’s Michael Rand:
How the rest of his career will play out remains to be seen. Maybe all this offseason chatter is just noise and Towns will sign a max contract with the Wolves while declaring all is well. But if you wanted clarity Wednesday, Towns offered anything but that.
“I think I’ve done a lot of things here. I’m very proud of the things I’ve been able to do so far,” Towns said in response to the final question of the session about whether he considers Minnesota a second home. “But I have a lot of things that have to be talked about, so I’ll move on.”
Karl-Anthony Towns is still playing on his rookie deal and a possible extension has been discussed but nothing has come of it. At 22 years of age, Towns is not only one of the best young players in the NBA but also a torchbearer in the new generation of modern big men.
With no extension agreed to from either Towns or Butler, the Wolves could be on the brink of disaster. After finally putting together a winning formula, losing either of their key cogs could spark another rebuild.