2. Karl-Anthony Towns
The Timberwolves have the best record in the Western Conference and second-best in the NBA on the morning of Jan. 2, so a teardown appears unlikely. They have important questions to answer, though. Minnesota has $185 million in committed salaries for the 2024-25 season without Mike Conley, Kyle Anderson, and Jordan McLaughlin on their books. The Wolves need to add a point guard and will likely be over the second tax apron afterward. Are their new owners willing to spend that much?
Anthony Edwards is the team’s best player, and they are not recouping the value they paid for Rudy Gobert. That leaves Towns as the most likely Wolves star to be traded if they decide to lessen their tax bill. KAT is an elite scorer and shooter who starts a four-year $222.6 million extension in the 2024-25 campaign.
Putting Towns next to Myles Turner may not be ideal, but the Timberwolves are making it work with Gobert and KAT. The three-time All-Star struggles to protect the rim and is a career 39.6 percent 3-point shooter. He can operate more on the perimeter and gives the Pacers a bit more versatility in how they use Turner.
Head coach Rick Carlisle loves to shoot threes and stretch the floor. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best shooting big men in NBA history, which could form a fantastic pairing if Minnesota decides to move on. Consider it unlikely, but possible.