After a tumultuous 2018-2019 season, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves are taking the time to reconfigure themselves.
There’s no more Jimmy Butler drama to deal with. Gersson Rosas is in charge of the front office as president of basketball operations. Ryan Saunders has been named permanent head coach after endearing himself to the franchise with the job he did stepping in for a fired Tom Thibodeau. And Towns is putting the weight of a franchise that’s made the playoffs just once in his tenure, a swift first round exit at the hands of the Houston Rockets in 2018, squarely on his bulked up shoulders.
“(Timberwolves fans) deserve better,” Towns said during a recent chat with UPROXX. “We gave them a taste of the playoffs, but they deserve better than a first round exit. They deserve better than not making the playoffs. We have to give them a product they believe in. They deserve better from the team, they deserve better from me and I plan to give them something they can be proud of.”
Making a splash in free agency would go a long way to helping Towns turn those words into action, and he’s hot on the heels of D’Angelo Russell, who is currently a restricted free agent with Brooklyn Nets. With less than two weeks to go until the official start of free agency, KAT took some time to talk with UPROXX courtesy of Gillette about his recruiting efforts, his bond with Saunders and how he’s preparing to have the best season of his career.
You’ve been vocal about the Timberwolves having a chance to make major improvements via free agency. You’ve done some D’Angelo Russell whispering on Instagram. Have you paid attention to all the player movement and rumors this summer?
Yes. I pay very close attention to free agency. And D’Angelo is not getting whispers, he’s getting more of a yell from a microphone. This is a big free agency period for us as an organization, so we’re taking every step and exploring every avenue.
How long have you known Russell?
Forever. Me and D’Angelo have known each other for a very long time. We’ve talked about how much we want to play with each other, not even just in the NBA or college, but in high school. Who would’ve thought we’re at this moment now.