Skip to main content
Publish date:

What if Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is forced to choose between Karl-Anthony Towns and Tom Thibodeau

It's hypothetical at this point, but the speculation has taken us there.
Author:

What's going to happen if the situation inside the Timberwolves' organization really is at the point where owner Glen Taylor has to pick between team president and head coach, Tom Thibodeau, and 22-year-old All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns?

It's a hypothetical situation right now, but the prospect was raised this week by ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, who agreed that the Wolves are "not in a good place right now," with Windhorst suggesting that Minnesota trading Towns this summer isn't impossible. 

To be clear, nobody has said Towns is unhappy, but the ESPN duo's conversation has fueled speculation (including by websites like ours, admittedly) that Towns and Thibodeau don't see eye-to-eye. If true, Taylor could be forced to make a decision.

It'd be like Sophie's Choice. Except not really, because Taylor should clearly choose Towns.

Today's Top Stories

Best Buy is ending its Gamers Club unlocked discount program

Explosion of aggressive gnats is causing misery in the Twin Cities

Sign up for our Bring Me The Newsletter

Towns has generational talent, but he needs a coach who designs the game plan around him, putting him in position to succeed. And it probably wouldn't hurt if the coach approached things the way Brad Stevens does in Boston, with a calm, always stable approach, unlike the scream-first style Thibodeau is known for.

What complicates things is that Thibodeau might be the only thing keeping Jimmy Butler in Minnesota. That said, this might be Butler's last year in Minnesota anyway.

The All-Star swingman will still be in his prime – 29 years old – when he's eligible for free agency in 2019. Thibodeau or not, Butler's exit might already be a foregone conclusion. 

Taylor should also consider the late Flip Saunders if he's faced with a decision. 

Towns was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, and the final piece of Saunders' rebuild centered around a trio of young stars, including Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. 

Thibodeau already traded LaVine in the Butler deal with Chicago, and if he's allowed to deal Towns and then Butler leaves via free agency, Saunders' vision will be a memory and the Wolves would likely be without a star player.

Butler might be a top 15 player now, but Towns could be the best player in the NBA in a matter of years. The 7-footer has averaged 21.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game in his three seasons, not to mention he's a sparkling 38.7 percent 3-point shooter.

Towns is the future, Thibodeau appears to be the past. Taylor needs to make the right choice if a decision presents itself. 

Next Up

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Brian O'Neill

Matthew Coller: What if the Vikings didn't have Detroit?

The Lions have been like two freebies on the Vikings' schedule the past three seasons.

water drain

MN will get $116M for water projects as part of infrastructure package

Nationwide, $7.4 billion will be distributed for projects next year.

Related

Thibs: Butler had a 'tremendous' impact on Wiggins, Towns

The only stat Thibodeau seems worried about is winning.

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler reacts to fight between KAT, Embiid

The Wolves are reportedly upset with how the NBA punished Embiid.

Glen Taylor on Jimmy Butler: 'We're not going to get the perfect deal'

The Wolves owner said half the teams in the league have inquired about Butler.

Butler, KAT named All-NBA Third Team

It's KAT's first All-NBA nod and Butler's second.

Scary or smart? KAT is putting all his trust in Thibodeau

He's doing so despite taking just 9 shots in Game 1.

Tom Thibodeau laughs off reports of strife within Wolves

Thibs says he'll address any problems privately.