“The Knicks, multiple sources told Action Network, do not intend on making Mitchell Robinson available in any such talks; they prefer to try and replicate the two-big look of Minnesota with Towns and [Rudy] Gobert only with Mitchell,” Moore wrote.
However, the Timberwolves are not shopping the three-time All-Star big man around despite them becoming an Anthony Edwards team. After all, they have the best defense in the league to start the season and the third-best record (8-3) in the Western Conference entering Friday’s games.
“The widespread belief that Towns is available in trade discussions, a claim that sources close to the Wolves continue to say is overblown, if not outright wrong,” Moore wrote.
Towns has recovered from a poor start, now averaging 21.0 points and 9.3 rebounds. He became the subject of trade rumors in the offseason following an injury-plagued year and the awkward fit with Gobert in the early goings of the Twin Tower experiment.
The belief is that the rumors did not come from Minnesota, but rather from New York.
“There is a feeling in league circles that aren’t involved with the Timberwolves or Knicks that this situation is largely being promoted from within New York,” Moore wrote.
Robinson, Towns Complement Each Other
Robinson’s growth from a second-round pick into the league’s best offensive rebounder and an All-Defensive Team candidate is a testament to Knicks’ player development.
The Knicks starting center is averaging a career-best 11.7 rebounds, including a league-best 5.8 on the offensive end. The closest to his offensive rebounding prowess is Gobert, who is grabbing 4.2 per game, almost 2 offensive boards difference.
However, his offense remains his weakness.
The 25-year-old Robinson is averaging a career-low 6.5 points and a career-worst 40% shooting from the free throw line.
The reported Knicks’ idea of pairing Towns and Mitchell is good on paper.
Towns will complement Mitchell as a stretch big who can space the floor. Towns, the 2022 NBA 3-Point Shootout champion, is a 39.3% career three-point shooter.
But Towns plays the same position with the Knicks’ two-time All-Star Julius Randle.
Timberwolves Not Interested in Julius Randle
If the Knicks keep Robinson out of the table, then Randle is the odd man out if they pursue Towns.
But despite the resurgence of Randle from an early shooting slump, the Timberwolves are not interested in a Towns-Randle swap.
“The Wolves are not down on Randle; he’s known as a good player to work with. But his style of basketball is also tricky to facilitate. The Wolves might just be trading one problem (that doesn’t seem like much of a problem right now) for another,” Moore wrote.
In a potential Towns trade, the Knicks might have to re-route Randle.
Moore added that beyond Randle, “the Knicks would likely look to include Sixth Man of the Year candidate Immanuel Quickley.” RJ Barrett, who is finally putting together a good shooting season, could become the key in a Towns pursuit.
“The sticking point would be RJ Barrett, who was likely very gettable this summer after signing a four-year, $120 million (with incentives) extension last fall. The Wolves would likely look for Barrett in such a deal, but Barrett is finally having a breakout season, averaging a career-high in points and assists while shooting 50% from 3 and 70% eFG on catch-and-shoot shots this season per Synergy Sports,” Moore wrote.
Former Knicks general manager Scott Perry believes the Knicks are “one player away” from title contention. But is Towns that kind of player?