The Portland Trail Blazers could see major changes entering the 2020-21 NBA season, after losing to the Denver Nuggets in six games.
Whether it’s the team moving on from Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, or even Terry Stotts, the current iteration of the team is in question.
Less than 24 hours after their game, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wasted no time in reporting Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns could be on the move to Portland.
“I just got a text from somebody,” Smith said. “They will remain nameless. But let’s just say they have incredible credibility when it comes to basketball. And they mentioned to me Karl-Anthony Towns maybe in Portland, and you make a move involving Nurkic, McCollum or whomever and bring in Karl-Anthony Towns.”
Smith’s reporting comes off as more of a suggestion.
Towns, 25, will be entering his seventh season. In 2019, he signed a five-year, $158,253,000 contract with Minnesota.
Next season, he stands to make $31,650,600 and his deal runs through the 2023-24 season.
Should the Blazers even consider entertaining the possibility of Towns in a Blazers uniform, they will have to evaluate what it would take to acquire him.
CJ McCollum will begin his three-year, $100M contract extension next season and will make roughly $30,864,198 in 2021-22. So, that would balance the money.
But Neil Olshey and the Blazers has never given any indication that McCollum is on the trade block. Could that change this offseason?
As for Towns, he’s let it known multiple times publicly he wants to make it work in Minneapolis.
However, what will the Timberwolves look like under new ownership with former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore?
Towns has appeared in the playoffs once, back in 2018, but has also been injured the last two seasons.
The Wolves new ownership could see how things shake out with Towns' health alongside D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards and see if they can make some noise in the West and contend for a playoff spot in 2021.
But they could also be looking to dump salary and acquire picks to build a team with their vision. So, taking on a player like McCollum doesn't fit that strategy, and another team would need to get involved in a trade this size to offer up picks and other young assets.
Now, it just all depends on which direction the franchises want to go.