Pelicans Trade For Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns In Bold Proposal

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled to establish a defensive identity during the Karl-Anthony Towns era. Towns is one of the most talented offensive big men in the NBA, but he struggles on that end of the floor.

For years, the Timberwolves have struggled with him. Some have suggested that they’d have to eventually move Towns to improve their defensive abilities. 

In the meantime, something interesting is happening this season. Towns is still on the roster – but the Wolves are defending well anyway. Rudy Gobert is having a bounce-back season, and Jaden McDaniels has emerged as one of the best defensive wings in the NBA. 

So, perhaps the Timberwolves don’t even have to move Towns. With that said, his offensive production has also been limited this year. Minnesota could justify trading him to build their offense entirely around Anthony Edwards.

Could they send him to the New Orleans Pelicans? 

NBA Trade Proposal: New Orleans Pelicans Land Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns

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Minnesota Timberwolves receive: G CJ McCollum, 2024 First-Round Pick (LAL via NOP), 2025 First-Round Pick (Swap – MIL or NOP) 
New Orleans Pelicans receive: F/C Karl-Anthony Towns 

Towns is far from the first offensively gifted superstar to struggle on defense. He won’t be the last, either. Just look at Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. He’s a dynamic offensive player who struggles to defend. 

The parallels don’t stop there. These are both former number-one picks. Towns and Williamson have also both struggled to live up to those expectations – in spite of impressive NBA production. With that said, their respective struggles have occurred for different reasons. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

For Williamson, health has been the culprit. He may be the most injury-prone star in the NBA. For Towns, the issue is more fundamental. He seems to have a limitation that has made team success difficult.

Should the Pelicans take a flyer on him anyway? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

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In fairness to Towns, the situation around him has changed. He was the unquestioned alpha of this team. Now, he’s a second fiddle. Since Anthony Edwards arrived in Minnesota, the Wolves have been his team. 

With that in mind, Towns wouldn’t be taking over the Pelicans either. On the other hand, he would be forming a bonafide superteam.

Towns, Williamson, and Brandon Ingram would likely be the most talented offensive frontcourt in the NBA. This team would be a headache to guard. Moreover, the Pelicans would have a variety of quality role players around them.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

They’ll need to bolster their backcourt depth after making this deal, but they’ll also have the assets to make that happen. If they want to take a risk, adding Towns would increase their ceiling even if it lowers their floor.

Should the Timberwolves help them raise their ceiling? 

Why The Minnesota Timberwolves Do The Deal 

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The Wolves’ defense has been a tremendous surprise this year. On some level, they’ll hope that this deal offers them some addition by subtraction. By pairing Gobert and McDaniels in the frontcourt on a full-time basis, they should be able to maintain some of the best stopping power in the league. 

Of course, they’re also simply making an addition here. McCollum is an interesting fit. He could be a super sixth man behind Edwards and Mike Conley.

Alternatively, the Wolves could have him run point. Either way, McCollum is a productive player who will offset the loss of Towns offensively. He’s also older than Towns – and when both are at their best, Towns is the more productive player.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

That’s why the Wolves are also landing a pair of first-round picks here. They may just establish a defensive identity in the process. 

About James Piercey 3864 Articles
When it comes to exploring the endless possibilities of NBA trades, there's no one quite like James Piercey. With a keen eye for player dynamics, salary cap intricacies, and a knack for discovering uncharted trade territory, James has risen to prominence as the preeminent expert in the realm of hypothetical NBA trades. James is also known for his work covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation's The Dream Shake — a blog that gives a daily, comprehensive look at the team. He has written for various outlets, including FanSided and Last Word on Sports, among others.