Philadelphia 76ers

Is Philadelphia the best spot for a potential Karl-Anthony Towns trade?

Would the Sixers be a prime spot for ‘KAT’ to call home?

In 2016, it seemed like Karl-Anthony Towns had an unlimited ceiling. The annual General Manager survey named him the best player to build a franchise around. He even received almost .50 percent of the votes. This is an incredible honor for any second-year player, considering Steph Curry was named the unanimous league MVP the same season. As the last two seasons have unfolded, it seems like the big man from Kentucky has digressed. Last season he crushed inside defenders, averaging 25.1 points per game on .54.2 percent shooting from the field. Many expected his numbers to fall off this season, especially because the Timberwolves traded for Chicago guard Jimmy Butler.

Teams rarely find success with three players who constantly need the ball, and can’t set up teammates. The team was easily bumped from the playoffs in five games despite finishing eighth in the west for the first time in over a decade. At times, Towns lacked the confidence to post up even the smallest defenders. Multiple times in each game you could hear announcers pleading for him to post up or at least try to take a smaller defender off of a screen. The big three looked more like the big two, especially when Towns refused to attempt a basket. Sometimes he has not played to the potential of a first overall pick. Maybe it is time for the Wolves to call it quits with the big man, and perhaps Philadelphia is the place he needs to be.

What would a trade between the Sixers and T-Wolves look like?

Sports site Bleacher Report has dabbled in the potential trade a bit. To start, the Sixers and Wolves would swap 2018 picks (10th and 20th). Next, the Sixers would receive Towns and Cole Aldrich, while the Sixers would part with Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Richaun Holmes, and Furkan Korkmaz. The only way the trade works is if the two teams swap their first-round picks. Fultz has been an enigma all season, either he is injured or playing extremely inconsistent. KAT has proven to be a superior big man in the NBA, despite his challenges last season.

The 76ers would have to part with Saric, who was a valuable forward this season. He has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and rebounding at times. The Sixers could not make this trade without receiving the 20th pick from the T-Wolves. Giving up four first-round players/picks would not be a fair trade for Towns. Philadelphia lucked out with the 10th pick, so swapping picks would be much more enticing for the organization.

This Twitter user seems pretty excited about the possibility of adding KAT to the Sixers:

Are these just rumors? The NJ weighs in on Twitter:

Could Karl-Anthony Towns play alongside Simmons and Embiid?

For most of this past season, the Towns/Wiggins/Butler experiment seemed to fail. At times they were one of the NBA’s best lineups, others they could not produce baskets at a high rate. This mainly had to do with their lack of a true playmaker. Point guard Jeff Teague is a great scorer but has never brought his passing game to an elite level. However, this would not be the case in Philly. Ben Simmons has played one year in the NBA so far and has proven to be a prolific passer. Sometimes his playmaking ability overshadows his scoring prowess, which would be a perfect situation for KAT. Most scoring big men become dominant alongside quality playmakers.

One question the front office would have to answer is whether Towns can play next to Embiid. What makes this big three plausible is the range of Towns’ shooting. Last season, he shot .42.1 percent from deep which is remarkable for a big man. Embiid boasts similar stats from deep which makes their combination very likely to be a success. With Simmons taking the NBA by storm with his athleticism and passing abilities, the Sixers could run one of the all-time best offenses. A big three of Simmons/Embiid/Towns would take over the league and give the Sixers the opportunity to dethrone reigning Eastern Conference champion LeBron James for years to come.

Featured Image: GSankary via Flickr

Statistics and potential trade via basketball-reference.com, Bleacherreport.com

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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