Karl-Anthony Towns is hitting the campaign trail for the Minnesota Timberwolves as the team tries to add a marquee NBA free agent. JJ Redick noted to Zach Lowe on The JJ Redick Podcast that Towns is planning on hosting a “few” free agents.
“It is interesting you bring up Minnesota,” Redick said. “I know that there are a few ‘KAT’ [Karl-Anthony Towns] meetings with free agents that aren’t public that I know about. I am kinda hearing the same thing. Minnesota is up to something.”
We later found out that one of these meetings is with good friend D’Angelo Russell. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Towns will be at the meeting with Russell.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will meet with Brooklyn Nets restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell when free agency opens on Sunday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Timberwolves contingent expected to be present at the meeting: president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, head coach Ryan Saunders and franchise player Karl-Anthony Towns, sources said.
The meeting will take place in Los Angeles, sources said.
The Timberwolves Need to Clear Cap Space to Sign D’Angelo Russell or Another Max-Level Free Agent
Real GM’s Keith Smith has the Timberwolves currently over the salary cap. The only way Minnesota could sign Russell is if they are able to pull off a trade, likely involving Andrew Wiggins. Smith reported Minnesota believes they can clear the necessary cap space.
“Told that D’Angelo Russell’s team would not have set a meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves without assurances Wolves could clear the necessary cap space to sign Russell. Minnesota has made it clear they believe they can get to the $27.25M max space necessary to sign Russell,” Smith tweeted.
There is some speculation that the Timberwolves already have a deal in place for Russell contingent on the Nets signing two max players.
“The word on the Timberwolves meeting with D’Angelo Russell from execs around the league: Multiple versions of ~’It’s real. They must have a deal in place if Brooklyn is in fact able to land two max free agents,'” Zone Coverage’s Dane Moore tweeted.
The Other T-Wolves Free Agent Targets Are a Bit of a Mystery
Redick noted that Towns had a “few” meetings set up, and Russell has no shortage of suitors. This means Minnesota will need to have additional free agent targets, but so far Russell has been the only one linked to the Wolves.
As with Russell, Minnesota would still need to clear cap space to be able to have a chance at signing anyone major. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported that the Timberwolves group will be in Los Angeles where all the action is taking place when free agency begins.
The Wolves will have a large contingent in Los Angeles on Sunday to jump right into the recruiting battle, league sources said. Having big plans is one thing. Being able to put them into motion with one hand tied behind their backs by all of the large contracts on their roster and the relative dearth of attractive assets is something altogether different…
As previously reported at The Athletic, Towns has been taking on the role of pre-recruiter to help lay the groundwork for the Wolves’ foray into the market. And it’s not just with clever and cryptic comments on Instagram, or interviews in which he openly pines for Russell.