If the Boston Celtics lose out on Anthony Davis, then Danny Ainge should keep his eyes on the situation in Minnesota with Karl-Anthony Towns.
There is no doubt Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is going to go all in on Anthony Davis this summer, but what if the worst-case scenario happens and the team doesn’t land the best big man in the league?
Well, they should set their eyes on another talented big man by the name of Karl-Anthony Towns.
First of all, the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t shopping Towns. The 7-foot talent who averaged 24.4 points and 12.4 rebounds a game is a rare talent who the team is building the franchise around.
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However, if he starts to feel displeased with the franchise’s current situation like Davis currently is in New Orleans, the Timberwolves could explore a move. Now, the five-year extension Towns signed with Minnesota puts all cards in the team’s hands if such a situation occurred, so it would take a lot for any team to lure the 2015 No. 1 overall pick out of Minneapolis.
That’s why any trade rumors surrounding Towns has died down.
The latest on Anthony Davis
That would probably mean Jayson Tatum would certainly need to be involved in any package to obtain the services of the big man.
Their toughest competition, however, might just be the New Orleans Pelicans. After winning the lottery, Pelicans executive Vice President David Griffin may dash the hopes of all the teams named above and try to convince Anthony Davis that his best move is to stay in the Big Easy and play alongside Zion Williamson.
Here is the latest from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski
As Davis may have already burned his bridges with the fans in New Orleans, don’t expect the star to suddenly change his mind about demanding a trade. However, just like they did when they won the lottery, the Pelicans could mess up free agency moves by delaying a deal as they attempt to win back the heart of their cornerstone star.
That scenario would leave the Boston Celtics looking past Plan B and perhaps even onto Plan C which would be trading for a star that unexpectedly becomes available.
A package for Towns?
That player could be Karl-Anthony Towns.
Depending on what happens with the Golden State Warriors and their pending free agent stars (Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant), Towns may view the Minnesota Timberwolves as just a player or two away from being at the top or near the top of the Western Conference.
They certainly have the talent with Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Above that Towns is currently committed to the team that drafted him. But, if they can’t get a third star to come to Minnesota and there is an inconsistency in winning, that commitment can change suddenly.
If that happens, you better believe Danny Ainge will have his eyes and ears open. This may not be a quick Plan C, but one that could start to develop the middle of next season depending on how things are going in Minnesota. Remember, the Pelicans were on the rise during the 2017-18 season and just a year later Anthony Davis wants out.
Now, the contract situations are different, but a player like Karl-Anthony Towns is going to start setting his eyes on the prize. If he doesn’t see a championship on the horizon with the Timberwolves, he will look elsewhere as he starts to hit his prime.
If not Davis, and the Boston Celtics are still looking for that next superstar, it will take a similar package featuring Jayson Tatum to ply Towns out of Minnesota. To match the contract, Gordon Hayward or the contract of Al Horford (if he opts in) would have to be included.
Of course, this all depends on timing, but in the NBA twists and turns happen frequently and often and who knows what’s up Danny Ainge’s sleeve. We didn’t see the Kyrie Irving trade happening before it happened…now did we?