On Friday afternoon, ESPN‘s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst — two of the best NBA reporters in the business — sat down to do a podcast to discuss various topics surrounding the NBA playoffs and the offseason.

One of their topics — albeit for no more than 45 seconds — was Karl-Anthony Towns, mainly as a guy to whom the Celtics should look at throwing a trade offer.

How did this happen? To start, let’s look at the exact conversation:

Brian Windhorst: “Has anybody noticed what’s going on in Minnesota with Karl-Anthony Towns and that organization?”

Zach Lowe: “Darren Wolfson alluded to a lot of it on a podcast a couple weeks ago. I said on a podcast recently that I just have a gut feeling something crazy is gonna happen there this summer. It’s not in a good place right now internally.” 

Windhorst: “If I were the Celtics, I would make a quiet call to Minnesota.”

While Lowe and Windhorst are very plugged in in their own respective rights, the only true reference made in the entire conversation is to a previous podcast by Wolfson, a 1500 ESPN and KSTP reporter and longtime Minnesota sports journalist. Windhorst even goes on to say the whole thing is “unrealistic.”

But once a sliver of that conversation made it onto the social media airwaves, its speed to going viral was as impressive as KAT’s 3-point percentage this season.

Within hours, rumors and trade scenarios were being spread and aggregated all across the internet. Even current NBA players were jumping in on the conversation.

One was a former college teammate.

Another was a former — and quite artsy — Timberwolves teammate.

But as fun as rumors are in the offseason, and even if there actually is some friction within the organization, this particular matter will never turn into anything more that chatter.

Towns is set to sign a max extension — thus avoiding free agency, where he’d be restricted anyway — this summer, and Tom Thibodeau has absolutely no reason to move him. Unless he wants to delay his extension — something never done by young stars still on their rookie deals — there’s nothing to look at here.

But if that’s not enough, the original source of all the commotion chimed in late Friday evening to help calm the storm.

One was even a response to a trusty Zone Coverage reporter and podcaster.

This all started when two of the best NBA reporters harmlessly brought up some trade ideas in the offseason. It turned into something much bigger than it should have ever become.

The NBA offseason has begun for the Wolves, but trade rumors surrounding their young star shouldn’t be part of it.

Listen to Tim on Wolves Wired!

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  1. Kat leaving is probably a stretch, but it sort of misses the point that the organization, despite the best record, roster and only playoff appearance in 14 years is a hot mess. If windy believes it, so does every agent, including the ones that represent the best interests of current players on the roster. Prepare for the offseason exodus.

    Minnesota’s pitch to free agents is now, “yeah the weather sucks and the black community is tiny, but our team culture is hot garbage and the coach will scream at you!”

    • I think the bench minutes thing, the Rose signing, and Crawford quick exit is really going to hurt us, too (as far as free agency). Jamal Crawford comes here and immediately wants out (not that I’m complaining, he was awful last year). Bjelica can’t get on the floor, even after filling in as a perfectly competent spot-starter for Butler. Gorgui can’t get on the floor, despite proving that he’s a competent starting-quality NBA big. Tyus can’t get minutes despite possibly having made a credible case to even be the starter.

      And yet, Derrick Rose, he of the 5 straight years as a net-negative, sub-replacement level player, comes in and is immediately gifted minutes ahead of players who had actually earned them in an obvious case of nepotism trumping meritocracy. So, what free agent wants to come here on a bargain contract, knowing that they won’t even be able to earn minutes off the bench regardless of how well they play?


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