The Minnesota Timberwolves and star center Karl-Anthony Towns are reportedly in contract extension discussions, according to a report from the Athletic’s Mike Scotto and Jon Krewczynski. Towns, 22, is eligible for a max extension of his rookie-scale deal.
Towns is entering the final year of his current rookie deal and is set to make $7.8 million next season. If Towns declines the extension, he will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019.
The Towns extension conversation comes after reports surfaced that he and teammate Jimmy Butler clashed over Towns’ laissez-faire approach to the game, leading to a belief that Butler is looking to forego a four-year extension the Wolves will reportedly offer and become a free agent in 2019.
Butler’s agent refuted the claims that Butler held any grievances against Towns or any of his Timberwolves teammates.
Towns is an offensive talent for the Wolves at the center position who averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and shot 42 percent from behind the arc last season. Towns has played in all 82 games in every season since Minnesota took him with the number one overall pick in 2015.
The Kentucky product also made his debut as a Western Conference All-Star in Los Angeles last season and helped Minnesota reach its first playoff berth in 14 seasons.
Defensively, the 2018 All-NBA third team selection left much to be desired as he took an obvious step back on that end of the floor after a showing much potential under the tutelage of Kevin Garnett in his rookie season.
However, the discussion of a max extension at this stage of a young star’s career is almost routine and certainly makes sense long-term for both parties to continue the relationship.