"Light years ahead" can often sound more like crazy, until it actually happens. Saying Kevin Durant would join the 73 win Warriors was insane until it wasn't. It's yesterday's news that the Warriors (and everyone else with even a theoretical possibility) are prepping scenarios to try and get Giannis in case the Greek superstar and the Bucks fail in the playoffs again. Today's news is that the Warriors plan B could be Karl-Anthony Towns.
When KD decided to leave, the Warriors managed to salvage some assets by making it a sign-and-trade and getting D'Angelo Russell on the team. As Russell said, he was very close to signing with the Wolves and teaming up with his friend Karl-Anthony Towns, but he couldn't pass up a chance to be on the Warriors. The moment he arrived in Golden State trade speculation started as he plays Steph Curry's position and seems superfluous. The most likely trade partner? The Timberwolves. The Wolves want to pair up KAT and Russell for some time now and the Warriors could cash in on that, but the way the Timberwolves have in mind.
“The Warriors have been monitoring Karl-Anthony Towns’ situation in Minnesota. ... This was a topic among multiple team executives at the recent G League Showcase, with a few relaying word that Towns is unhappy in Minnesota. The Wolves currently sit at 13th in the Western Conference, two spots ahead of the gap-year Warriors, looking at another lost season. While the Wolves might dream of a scenario where Russell teams up with his good friend Towns, the Warriors have a differing vision of how a trade between the two franchises could shake out.”
Ethan Strauss, The Athletic
Towns is under contract until '23/'24, so asking for a trade would be absurd, right? Then again, can you cross anything out in today's NBA? Trading KAT for Russell would defeat the purpose of the trade for the Wolves, but you don't get "light years ahead" by doing the obvious thing. As unhappy he may be in Minnesota right now, it is hard to imagine the Wolves trading him for Russell and assets when the purpose of trading for D'Angelo is to team him up with KAT.
This story does confirm a scary idea for the league. The emergence of Erich Paschall and Alen Smailagić's dominant G League performances put the Warriors in prime position for a superstar trade. Those two young players, D'Angelo Russell and a high draft pick in the 2020 draft would be one of the best packages anyone can offer on the market. A lot of teams will go all-in this year because we might have another big-4 in Golden State this time next year.