If fans weren’t paying attention to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ offseason moves, star Karl-Anthony Towns made the team’s intentions loud and clear at a press conference Friday.
“It’s go time,” Towns said after signing a four-year $224 million extension. “The [Rudy Gobert] trade happens. There’s no more time. There are no more excuses. We’ve got to get it done now. It’s championship now or bust. Got to go out there and get the job done.”
Minnesota sent Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, and four future first-round picks, three of which are unprotected, to the Jazz for the six-time All-Defensive player Gobert.
“When you make the trade that we made, that’s the reality. I’m not trying to sugarcoat,” Towns said. “You’ve got to think that. That’s really what’s on the table. I don’t think the fans would be accepting of [a goal of] a third-round elimination. … Let’s be real. The standards are high. The pressure is high. And that’s when we should all love to play basketball even more.”
“The future of this team and this organization is bright and it’s time to shine.” pic.twitter.com/RlB772YDhU
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) July 22, 2022
The seven-year veteran and three-time All-Star averaged 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists during the 2021-22 campaign that saw the Timberwolves fall to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.
It was only the second time the T’Wolves made the playoffs since Towns was drafted in 2015.
“I expect a lot of winning, for sure,” said Towns. “I really want to try to bring a championship right here to Minnesota. I think Rudy adds a huge component to that. He’s gonna be a massive part of us being a championship team. My job is to help him as much as he’s going to help me. His strengths are my weaknesses, and his weaknesses are my strengths.”
Gobert, 30, a six-time All-Defensive Player, three-time All-Star, and 2015-16 block champion, averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists last season.