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Tom Thibodeau says he’s ‘very optimistic’ Timberwolves will extend Karl-Anthony Towns’ contract

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 08: Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on as Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves on court during the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors as part of 2017 NBA Global Games China at Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

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There reportedly was a rift between Tom Thibodeau and Karl-Anthony Towns, a rift between Jimmy Butler and Towns and a rift between Butler and Thibodeau.

But Thibodeau is here to present a unified front.

Not only did the Timberwolves president-coach express confidence in Butler re-signing next summer, Thibodeau is also talking up Towns staying long-term.

Jerry Zgoda of the StarTribune:

Thibodeau said he’s “very optimistic” the Wolves will sign Towns to a contract extension before the regular season starts.

A max contract extension for Towns projects to be worth $190 million (if he makes an All-NBA team or wins Defensive Player of the Year next season) or $158 million (if he doesn’t qualify for the super-max) over five years.

He and Minnesota reportedly began discussing parameters a month and a half ago. What’s taking so long?

To be fair, there are details to work out – player option, what precisely happens if Towns qualifies for the super max, etc. The Timberwolves might also be reluctant after Andrew Wiggins’ max extension last summer backfired, as he regressed last season.

But Towns is far better than Wiggins. Minnesota should avoid turning one mistake into two.

If the Timberwolves can lock up Towns for the next five years, they should pay any price.