There are a lot of mixed stories about Karl Anthony-Towns wanting out of Minnesota:
Let me add: the #Twolves are not moving KAT anytime soon. Stories like this create discussion, and selfishly, are good for business, whether for radio or TV. But just know that Wolves folks would tell you that KAT more than anything wants to win here. Year 1 of 5 offers time. https://t.co/fTp7f6ifyQ
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 30, 2019
Sure, it could all be bogus, but usually, when there is smoke, there is fire. And oftentimes, the best time to pounce on a superstar via trade is when he has made it clear he wants out of an organization. We may not be there quite yet with Anthony-Towns, but barring some massive strides from Minnesota, it seems entirely plausible that he will not be finishing out his deal with the Wolves.
The question is if it gets to that point, should the Hawks be the team that pounces on him? He has four years left on his current deal, and at 24 years-old, fits the window for a young Atlanta team. He would be a legitimate star to pair with Trae Young, but as always it comes down to the cost, and Towns is going to require a gaudy haul.
The Hawks need a center more than anything going forward. They have a young point guard in Trae Young, a young shooting guard in Kevin Huerter, two newly-drafted lottery pick wings in De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, and a budding young star at power forward in John Collins. Despite the team’s lackluster record, there is no denying the Hawks have a fantastic young core to pair with a ton of upcoming cap room flexibility and future assets.
The problem with acquiring Towns is that the Hawks will have to part with most of the aforementioned for Towns’ services, a considerable gamble. They will surely start with John Collins as a starting point, likely with the Hawks 2020 draft pick, which should land in the top five. If the Hawks had the number 1 pick and Minnesota offered Towns, sure it would be worthy of thinking about. But if the price gets higher than that, Travis Schlenk should tell them, “I’m out.” With James Wiseman on the board and Andre Drummond a pending free agent in a year that the Hawks open up their cap window, it would be foolish to give them an Anthony Davis-type package for Towns.
The counterargument would be if you have Trae Young and Karl Anthony-Towns, you have two young superstars with the cap room for one more. There is no denying that it would be an excellent scenario for the Hawks’ future. But it is also easy to forget due to his absence just how good John Collins was last season, assuming he is part of any theoretical package, as well as the supporting cast currently in Atlanta. The Lakers pushed in all their chips to become a contender. The Hawks would be far from that, but they could build around two fantastic, young offensive players, who unfortunately have not had nearly as much success on the other side of the ball.
Atlanta should likely stay patient. But having a 24-year-old superstar on the market will be a situation worth monitoring for them if they can find the right deal. Few teams have the assets the Hawks do as far as young players, draft picks, and cap room are concerned. It just seems that Minnesota’s asking price, based on the market set by the Lakers-Pelicans trade, will be well out of Atlanta’s comfort zone, given the amount of risk involved, and the sacrificed years of winning to become a long-term winner.