Knicks’ Interest in 3-Time All-Star Trending a ‘Little Down:’ Insider

Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, New York Knicks

Getty oel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers fights with Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns has been heavily linked to the New York Knicks recently, as he made his rounds in Big Apple, from partying to pitching in a Yankees game. But the Knicks’ interest in the oft-injured, three-time All-Star big man is waning, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

“From what I’ve heard from a couple of people in touch with them, they felt the temperature was a little down on the interest in Towns compared to where it was very early on in Leon Rose’s tenure,” Begley said on the May 25 episode of the Hoopshype podcast with host Michael Scotto and fellow guest New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.

Towns has strong ties within the Knicks’ organization, starting with Rose, who represented him when he was still an NBA agent. Towns’ father even attended Rose’s first game as Knicks president, according to Begley.

Tom Thibodeau Open to Reunion With Karl-Anthony Towns

Tom Thibodeau, who coached Towns during his first two All-Star berths with the Timberwolves, is said to be open to a reunion despite their bitter ending in Minnesota, according to Bondy.

“I had heard unequivocally that Tom Thibodeau would have no problem coaching Towns again. That was maybe two years ago, so things could’ve changed,” Bondy said on the Hoopshype podcast.

Towns and Thibodeau did not see eye to eye during their tumultuous two-plus seasons together in Minnesota. Towns even took a shot at Thibodeau after his unceremonious firing in Minnesota as the head coach and team president back in 2019 in an interview with WCCO’s Cory Hepola.

I think that I’m very blessed that I have a great front office. I have a great coaching staff,” Towns told Hepola during a live interview at his summer camp.  “We think we have the best coaching staff possibly in the game right now from a talent, experience and just culture standpoint. And the culture we’re building here is something special. So I’m a very happy.  I’m very glad now we’re introducing Culver and Noel to a culture that we possess now. You know, I don’t think the situation before it would’ve been very beneficial for them.

While clearly referencing the Tom Thibodeau lead Timberwolves, Towns talked about how he felt it held back the development of the players.

And that’s a disrespect and a slap in the face to their development, you know, and I want to make sure that they develop not only as players, but as human beings and as men. And, uh, you know, that’s what we’re here to do. And in Minnesota, the thing, one of the biggest things where Ryan and with me is like, we have to make sure our culture is not based on just basketball. This is a family atmosphere. Everything we do here in Minnesota has to be able to have a family. A family backing and a family thought process. And building people’s personalities, characters and showing them more of themselves. And you’re more than basketball.

But Towns has since patched things up with Thibodeau according to a story ran by The Athletic last year.

“I remember after we played the Knicks (last season) pulling Thibs to the side,” Towns told The Athletic in September [2021]. “I said ‘I just want to let you know I forgive you.’ There’s not bad blood. One day let’s just go get dinner. Let’s just chill. We don’t have to worry about the business side, let’s just work on our relationship.”

NBA Insider Urges Knicks Not to Go All-in on Karl-Anthony Towns

ESPN’s Zach Lowe is not too keen on Towns going to New York. He has a better idea.

“If I’m the Knicks, all these Karl-Anthony Towns rumors are going to start now, forget that,” Lowe said on the May 15 episode of his “The Lowe Post” podcast. “I have a good team.”

“If I’m the Knicks, I have [Jalen] Brunson. He’s an awesome point guard. Like, why am I upending my team for Damian Lillard if he becomes available? I got a point guard. I’m not putting all my chips. I missed my chance on [Donovan] Mitchell, and that’s fine. We rebounded from that. That turned out to be an okay decision. I still got all these chips.”

“Towns ain’t the guy that I’m playing those chips for. I’m waiting for the next guy. [Joel] Embiid? That’s the guy I’m playing all the chips for.”

Joel Embiid’s future in Philadelphia hangs in the balance after the 76ers’ third straight second-round exit. But there are no clear indications that both Embiid and Towns will hit the trade market this summer.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x