"Trading Rudy before I trade KAT" - 15x NBA All-Star talks ramping up Timberwolves' frontcourt options for next season

15x NBA All-Star talks ramping up Timberwolves
15x NBA All-Star talks ramping up Timberwolves' frontcourt options for next season

Following the Minnesota Timberwolves' disappointing Western Conference finals showing, conversations have started about them potentially trading one of their star big men. According to franchise legend Kevin Garnett, he would deal four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert before considering trading four-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Minnesota, led by rising superstar wing Anthony Edwards, knocked off the defending champion Denver Nuggets in Round 2 of the playoffs. However, it struggled mightily in Round 3 against the Dallas Mavericks. The Timberwolves' bigger lineups experienced difficulty keeping up with the Mavericks' smaller, faster ones.

They fell behind 3-0, losing each game by single digits before securing a 105-100 Game 4 road victory on Tuesday to extend the series. However, they got blown out 124-103 at home in Thursday's Game 5 clash, losing the series 4-1.

Gobert, who took home his record-tying fourth DPOY trophy this season, had a limited impact in the series. He was frequently negated by foul trouble and issues keeping up with Dallas' pace. He averaged just 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game on 62.9% shooting over five contests.

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Meanwhile, Towns, Minnesota's No. 2 scoring option, went ice cold in Games 1 to 3. He averaged 15.0 ppg while shooting only 27.8% and 13.6% from deep before bouncing back in Games 4 and 5.

On the latest episode of the "All The Smoke" podcast, Garnett brought up the possibility of the Timberwolves trading Gobert this offseason. However, former 14-year NBA veteran Stephen Jackson noted that he would trade Towns instead.

Jackson cited reserve center Naz Reid's strong postseason run, highlighting his potential to replace Towns' offensive production. The 24-year-old averaged 12.6 ppg on 47.9% shooting off the bench over five West finals outings.

"With the way Naz Reid is playing, you trade KAT and get another big piece," Jackson said.

However, Garnett pushed back, citing his desire for Minnesota to retain Towns over Gobert.

"You would trade KAT before you would trade Rudy?" Garnett asked. "Nah, I'm trading Rudy before I'm trading KAT."

Jackson added that Towns has more trade value, so it makes more sense for the Timberwolves to see what they can get for him.

The 15-time All-Star then humorously quipped about being willing to trade Gobert for anything.

"S**t, you don't know what you can get," Garnett said. "I may only need a bag of chips, I may not need too much."

Watch: Rudy Gobert and Derrick Jones Jr. involved in heated exchange, get assessed with tech soon after


Does it make sense for Timberwolves to trade Rudy Gobert over Karl-Anthony Towns?

Kevin Garnett joking about potentially trading Rudy Gobert for a bag of chips marks a trend of big-name players taking shots at the Timberwolves star. Despite his accolades, Gobert has long been a subject of criticism, with many questioning his winning impact.

However, if the Timberwolves flip Gobert this summer, they will likely need to restructure their game plan. Their league-best defense is heavily based on the 31-year-old's rim protection and their drop coverage strategy featuring him.

So, it would likely be easier for Minnesota to trade Karl-Anthony Towns for additional shot-creators and start Naz Reid alongside Gobert without hurting its defense.


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