Tom Thibodeau: I Don't Know How Karl-Anthony Towns Contract Talks Will Go

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 11: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves walks past head coach Tom Thibodeau on his way to the bench during the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 11, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Nuggets 112-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau isn't certain about where things stand in contract extension negotiations with superstar center Karl-Anthony Towns.

When Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune asked Thursday if he has a feel for how talks will go, Thibodeau said: "I don't, I don't. We're just optimistic it will be done as soon as possible."

The 22-year-old big man is set to hit the final year of his contract, and he is eligible to become a restricted free agent in 2019.

Towns will undoubtedly receive some max offer sheets if he makes it that far.

The 2015 No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky is coming off his first All-Star campaign, as he averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting a career-high 54.5 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range.

Although Towns' scoring was down in comparison to the 25.1 points per game he averaged in 2016-17, that can be attributed to Jimmy Butler's arrival.

Last season, the trio of Towns, Butler and Andrew Wiggins finally helped the Timberwolves end their 13-year playoff drought. The Houston Rockets bounced Minnesota in the first round, but the team has something to build on. However, Butler can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season if he opts out.

Since the Timberwolves seem likely to offer Towns a max extension or match any offer sheet that comes his way next offseason, it is difficult to envision a scenario where he goes anywhere.

Unless Towns doesn't want to be in Minnesota or the Timberwolves feel a significant roster shake-up is in order, Towns will be the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future.