‘Blockbuster’ Trade Proposal Sends Karl-Anthony Towns To Pelicans, Brandon Ingram To Timberwolves

One NBA analyst proposed that the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans make a trade centered around Karl-Anthony Towns and Brandon Ingram this offseason. 

NBA, Pelicans, Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, Brandon Ingram
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade idea between the Timberwolves and Pelicans:

The Trade: The New Orleans Pelicans acquire Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr. and a 2027 first-round pick (via MIL)

The Pelicans lost in the first round of this year’s playoffs in four games to the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Timberwolves lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the conference finals in five games. 

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Pelicans are expected to explore the trade market for Ingram this offseason aggressively.

Ingram has one year left on his contract. He averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks this season while shooting 49.2% from the field, 35.5% from beyond the arc and 80.1% from the free-throw line.

Towns or Rudy Gobert have to be traded for the Timberwolves to avoid paying a massive luxury tax bill under the new CBA. Towns averaged 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks this season while shooting 50.4% from the floor, 41.6% from beyond the arc and 87.3% from the free-throw line. 

“Here, the Wolves would get back Ingram and Nance, who’ll earn $36 million and $11.2 million, respectively, on expiring contracts in 2024-25,” Hughes wrote. “For a Minnesota team that struggled to score, Ingram, whose main skill is creating something-from-nothing offense, could address a real need. Ingram could start between Jaden McDaniels and Anthony Edwards, where he’d be shielded from tough defensive matchups. Minnesota could also start Naz Reid in an ultra-big look that sends Mike Conley to the bench in a sixth-man role, which might not be the worst way to prop up reserve units that struggle to get buckets.

“Rim protection has been an issue in New Orleans throughout free-agent-to-be Jonas Valančiūnas‘ tenure. Towns wouldn’t help much there, but he’d fill the floor-spacing-5 void, potentially unlocking the most lethal version of Zion Williamson‘s downhill game. Five-out looks featuring Towns, one of the most dangerous shooting bigs in NBA history, could bring out the best in everyone on the Pels roster. New Orleans would give back plenty on D, but Herb Jones might be good enough on his own to ensure that the team still finishes in the top half of the league on that end.”

Ingram has career averages of 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks with the Los Angeles Lakers and Pelicans. He won the 2019-20 Most Improved Player of the Year Award. 

Meanwhile, Towns has career averages of 22.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks. The four-time All-Star was the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Kentucky. 

Ingram will make $36 million next season and Towns will make $49.4 million. 

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