SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns professed to not be following along with the trade rumors surrounding the Wolves ahead of Thursday’s deadline, but he knows the front office is preparing to make moves with the end goal of surrounding him with complementary talent that’ll maximize his skills.
That’s what President Gersson Rosas has pledged to do since arriving in Minnesota.
Since the Wolves have made no bones about Towns being their franchise star, it’s natural to wonder just how much say Towns might have over impending personnel decisions, if the goal is to keep him happy through the duration of his contract.
Along those lines, Towns offered his support of the front office and said he didn’t want to interfere on personnel matters, leaving it to Rosas. But when the subject came around to the Wolves potentially trading Robert Covington, one of Towns’ best friends on the team, Towns expressed his desire for Covington to remain a Timberwolf.
First, after the Wolves’ 113-109 loss to the Kings, Towns was asked if he was going to have a voice in what Rosas may decide to do this week. He said he wasn’t going to have one, nor did he want one.
“My stand on that is they get paid to do that,” Towns said. “I get paid to be on the court and make the things happen. So I’m going to do the best I can for my job. My job title is to be a basketball player, be a leader and take whatever guys I’m blessed to play with, share this locker room with and try to get the best out of them while getting the best out of me. That’s my job. My job is not to make decisions roster-wise or anything like that.”
Towns then said he was “very confident” in Rosas, coach Ryan Saunders and the direction they are taking the Wolves.
“It would hurt if the star player or player you highly regarded in the organization -- if they didn’t feel confidence in the front office. I do,” Towns said. “I feel very confident in Gersson, Ryan and all of them. Whatever they do, I’ll support because I know they’re trying to make the right decisions for us …
“I don’t need to be focused on everything the front office is doing or whatever the case may be because that’s not my job title and that’s something I don’t need to waste my energy and life on.”
Then the subject of Towns’ media session turned to specifics. Covington has been the most buzzed about trade piece for the Wolves. He could figure in a move that brings another friend of Towns', D'Angelo Russell, to Minnesota. Covington has a great relationship with Towns, one where Covington can call out Towns if he feels Towns needs it, and Towns respects that out of Covington. The two knew each other before Covington came to Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade a year ago.
Would Towns still be happy if Covington was one of the players the front office felt like it had to deal?
“I think it’s very obvious he’s my best friend on the team, so it would be very difficult if something like that was going to happen,” Towns said. “But like with Zach LaVine, this is a business. So like I said, I’m the one who just plays the game. I don’t get paid to make rosters and stuff like that. That’s why we have [Rosas] and them.”
Towns was then asked if he’d understand the rationale behind a potential move of Covington, and if he’d be able to take that in stride. He again admitted that would be hard, and he hoped that after the deadline passes, his friend is still across the home locker room from him.
“Obviously there’s a lot of decisions … as a player you may not like, but it’s something you’ve got to live with,” Towns said. “And that comes with just having trust in those guys. … Like I said, I don’t get paid to make those decisions. Those are tough decisions, but here’s to hoping that I see 'Cov' on Friday, I guess.
“He’s a great guy, a great dude. He’s a great player. He’s helped me tremendously and continues to help me every day. He just gives me such comfort out there.”