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Karl-Anthony Towns Says He Plans to Be on the Timberwolves 'For a Long Time'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2019

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Requesting trades, switching teams and moving from smaller to larger markets may be the trend in the NBA, but Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns doesn't sound like he is going to follow it. 

"The biggest thing when you have that conversation [about a star switching teams] is you say, 'Is he happy here?'" Towns said, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. "I'm tremendously happy. I love my front office. I love my coaching staff. I think we've made great moves and great changes. I love the culture we have here. If you want to leave, you have to be miserable somewhere. I am not there. I'm planning to be in Minnesota for a long time."

That is surely welcome news for Timberwolves fans, given the Kentucky product's status as the face of the franchise.

Things could turn sour fast if he publicly asked for a trade or was unhappy with the only NBA team he has ever known, especially since he is not scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent until 2024.

That contract alone suggests he should be in Minnesota for the foreseeable future, but having multiple seasons remaining on a deal hasn't stopped young players such as Anthony Davis from seeking out different circumstances in the recent past.

"I thought when you were in Minnesota, you would have less opportunities. I've seemed to have only grown with my opportunities," Towns said while further emphasizing his desire to stay. "The idea of it being because of my market or where I'm at is a false narrative that's written by people who want to keep big cities' talent pool larger than others. It's just not true."

Minnesota has been to the postseason just once since the 2003-04 campaign, but Towns stressed the proper patience for a rebuild.

"We all can't rush in and think we're going to win 75 games right now," he said. "We have to take it day by day. We have to be patient with the process and accept the process and go through the cycles. I think we're going to have a really good team and we have to go out there every single night and try to accomplish it. My job as a leader, I've got to get the best out of every single player."

Getting the best out of Andrew Wiggins, who is still just 24 years old, is key if Minnesota is ever going to establish itself as a contender in the Western Conference. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft has yet to live up to expectations, and Towns will need a secondary option as he grows into his prime.

Minnesota added role players in Jordan Bell and Jake Layman this offseason, but the addition of Jarrett Culver figures to help the most.

The No. 6 overall pick in the draft helped lead Texas Tech to the national championship game and is capable of defending talented wings and taking advantage of the spacing Towns creates by slashing to the basket and hitting from the outside.

While Minnesota would be far better off if Wiggins and Culver reach their potential, keeping Towns long-term is the most important thing it can do.

He is just 23 years old and already has a Rookie of the Year, two All-Star selections and an All-NBA selection on his resume. He averaged 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 blocks a night last season and still has a number of years remaining in his prime.

It sounds as if that prime will happen in Minnesota.

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