Trade Talk: WEEI Floats Blockbuster Sending Karl-Anthony Towns to Celtics

Potential Karl-Anthony Towns Celtics Trade

Getty Karl Anthony-Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

While it may not have completely silenced the James Harden-Celtics rumors, Jaylen Brown’s brilliant early-season performance has significantly quieted the chatter on that front. Brown is fresh off a career-night where the 24-year-old racked up 42 points, including shooting 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Brown’s 28.0 ppg this year not only leads the way for Boston, but it also ranks him tied with Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum for sixth-most in the entire league. An All-Star snub a year ago, Brown looks well on his way to full-blown superstardom early on in his fifth NBA season.

Brown’s rapid rate of improvement has led many, such as former Celtics big-man Kendrick Perkins, to deem the Cal-Berkeley product as an untouchable in any potential deals in the foreseeable future. However, what if that potential deal yielded a former No. 1 overall pick and two-time NBA All-Star in return?

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Karl-Anthony Towns to Celtics?

WEEI’s Rob Bradford and the station’s Celtics expert, Tyler Devitte, have formulated a potential Celtics-Timberwolves deal that would send Minnesota star forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns to Boston, albeit at an awfully steep price.

Here’s the full hypothetical trade package:

  • Celtics Receive: 
    • Karl-Anthony Towns C
    • Jarrett Culver SG
  • Timberwolves Receive:
    • Jaylen Brown SG
    • Romeo Langford SG
    • Daniel Theis C
    • 2024 first-round pick

The Positives from a Celtics Perspective

The potential positives for the Celtics are straightforward in this deal. Boston receives one of the league’s most dominant big-men in all of basketball in Towns, as well as an intriguing prospect in Culver, just one draft class removed from being the sixth-overall selection.

Towns, still just 25-years-old, would seemingly still have room to grow into his sky-high ceiling. He also carries a contract that would likely ensure he does so as a member of the Celtics. Towns is only in the second season of his five-year, $158,253,000 contract, meaning he’s locked up through the 2023-24 season.

The former Kentucky Wildcat is fresh off a 2019-20 campaign where he averaged a career-best 26.5 ppg. In two games this season he’s averaged a respectable 19.0 ppg, while his 5.0 assists,  1.0 steals and 3.0 blocks all mark new personal bests. Towns is currently dealing with a dislocated left wrist, which will likely knock him out of Minnesota’s lineup for a few games. The injury is somewhat concerning considering he underwent season-ending surgery on the same wrist a year ago. However, the new injury is reportedly in a different spot and will no require surgery, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bradford notes that in his eyes Towns “would seem to complement Jayson Tatum better than Brown.” Not to mention that breaking up the frontcourt duo of Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson, two somewhat shooting-challenged bigs, could certainly open things up for the Cs offense.

The Negatives: Is Brown too Important?

Speaking of Theis, he did impress while taking over for a hampered Thompson (hamstring) at the five-spot on Wednesday. The 28-year-old looked at home playing center, logging 12 points (5-7 FG), five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 19 minutes.

Langford, who just had his team option picked up alongside Robert Williams and Grant Williams, is out with his own wrist injury, but did appear in 32 games as a rookie a season ago. The 21-year-old looks to be a rotational player for coach Brad Stevens moving forward, although his inability to stay healthy could hurt his staying power in Boston long-term.

While both Theis and Langford are nice pieces, they’re somewhat replaceable. Brown, on the other hand, not so much.

Brown has developed into one of the best two-way wings in all of basketball. His continued growth has been staggering and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down thus far. A season-ago many questioned whether Brown could be the second-best player on a championship-contending team. Fast forward a few months and some are wondering if Brown hasn’t surpassed Jayson Tatum as the top player on the Celtics’ roster.

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