Karl-Anthony Towns is ready to receive his Devin Booker payday. The Minnesota Timberwolves franchise centerpiece player is reportedly in talks with the front office regarding a potential maximum rookie scale contract extension, according to The Athletic.
The Athletic Sources: Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a maximum rookie scale contract extension, colleague @JonKrawczynski and I are told.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 11, 2018
The extension for Towns would be in the five-year, $188 million range (an extra $30 million compared to what Booker received from the Phoenix Suns) and set him up to be the Wolves player of the immediate and long-term future.
Through his first three seasons in the NBA, Towns has averaged 21.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from three. He has played all 82 games in every season at nearly 35 minutes per game.
Karl-Anthony Towns can sign a “designated” rookie-scale extension that’d cover 5 new seasons and start at 25% of 19-20 salary cap (~$27.3M/$158M total). If he meets 5th-Year 30% Max criteria (All-NBA, DPOY or MVP in 18-19), it could start up to 30% of cap (~$32.7M/$190M total).
— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) July 11, 2018
Rumors have been swirling recently about the reported rift between the Wolves All-Star guard Jimmy Butler and some of the younger players on the team, including Towns. Whether or not that relationship proves to be mendable is up in the air, but the Wolves signing KAT to this extension would all but solidify that the team is much more focused on Towns than Butler. Butler is only locked in for one more season before he can opt out of his player option next summer and become a free agent. The Wolves will surely try to keep Butler around and will gladly pay him his worth, but if this deal with KAT gets done, the direction the team wants to take is clear. It’s all Towns everything.
Now if the Wolves can just fix, well, everything else, they can hopefully build a contender around Towns for years to come.