Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is on record saying he fully expects Karl-Anthony Towns to sign a contract extension, but ESPN's Brian Windhorst is perplexed about what the holdup is.
During the Aug. 27 episode of ESPN's "The Jump," Windhorst said "there's nothing happening right now" between the Wolves and Towns.
"The fact that this isn’t getting done yet is sort of eye-brow raising," Windhorst said. "To me, I believe he’s going to sign it. There’s never been a player who hasn’t signed it. The question again will be, to me: What type of deal is it? Is it a full five-year extension? Is it KAT saying this is where I want to be? Or does he take the shorter extension?"
Towns could sign a five-year max extension with Minnesota that would project to pay him up to $190 million, according to Pro Basketball Talk. If he wants to make certain he gets super rich but doesn't want to stay in Minnesota longer than he has to, he could work out a three-year extension worth about $88 million.
"Does Karl Towns, who isn't necessarily comfortable with how everything's going with the team this year, does he commit and say 'I want to be here for five years?' Windhorst said. "Maybe that will happen in a couple of weeks, but until it does, I think it's fair to wonder just how strong that bond is between him and the franchise."
If he doesn't sign an extension he'll become a restricted free agent next summer, which is still a position of power for the Wolves because they'd have the right to match any offer Towns receives.
Head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau is also on record saying he is "very optimistic" Towns will sign an extension, and NBC Sports notes that the holdup could be as simple as the Wolves and Towns negotiating player options within the contract.
That said, both Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press and WCCO/KFAN's Mark Rosen have said there is more to the reported beef between Towns and Jimmy Butler than the public knows, meaning the most dramatic summer in the history of Wolves basketball might be far from over.