Former Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns is a popular man in Minnesota. He helped lead the Timberwolves to their first playoff birth since 2004, averaging 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in the process.
And now, he’s in position to be rewarded for it.
Towns is now eligible for a max-contract extension, which would pay him $187 million over five seasons, good for an average of $37.4 million per year. Talks with the Minnesota front office are about to get really serious, really quick.
But the cornerstone Timberwolves big man wants to take some time off before he gets down to business. The time will come for those discussions soon enough, he says.
“My circle’s very close and my circle knows how I am,” Towns told The Athletic in a phone interview. “I’ve been able to stay away and enjoy this experience. It is what it is. We all know there are things that have to be talked about.”
Towns is currently in Italy as part of a worldwide relaxation/travel adventure. It was advice future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett gave him as his mentor, saying he needs to balance his relentless work ethic with time for himself. Then he can get back to the training and preparation for the 2018-19 NBA season.
When asked about Towns’ contract and whether or not an extension is imminent, Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau says he doesn’t know when it will get done, but he hopes it’s soon.
“I don’t,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t. We’re just optimistic it will be done as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Towns’ former teammate and current Phoenix Sun Devin Booker is preparing to meet with ownership to discuss a max contract extension with his own franchise.
Sources: Suns owner Robert Sarver and GM Ryan McDonough are meeting with star guard Devin Booker and his agent Leon Rose to present the framework of his rookie extension contract offer on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Booker is a strong candidate for a max deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
The 6-foot-6 guard recently voiced his displeasure with the Suns about releasing teammate and best friend Tyler Ulis. It wasn’t that he was waived, but that he wasn’t notified ahead of time that it was going to happen. According to reports, Booker was told back in January that free agency/team decisions would start to go through him as the team’s superstar. In the offseason immediately following that discussion, his best friend was waived without him knowing.
Many thought it would impact his future with the franchise, but apparently it wasn’t too big of a deal. He is set to meet with the Suns on Tuesday to put pen-to-paper on a new deal to keep him there for the long haul.
Booker is eligible for a five-year maximum extension worth roughly $158 million from the Suns this year, good for an average of $31.6 million per season. The former Wildcat sharpshooter set career highs with 24.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game last season.