Trade #3: Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe for Karl-Anthony Towns
Similar to the trade above, this move would not be done in a vacuum for either team. Rather, this move would stem from the Blazers leaning farther toward their strengths and the Wolves deciding to reorient the north star of their franchise.
Towns has been the face of the Timberwolves since they drafted him No. 1 overall in 2015, but while he’s in the prime of his career and an all-star caliber player, he may have been unwittingly squeezed out by his untimely injury.
Since he went down, Anthony Edwards has emerged as the team’s star and developed better chemistry with recent acquisition Rudy Gobert, whose defensive presence at center has helped the Wolves climb back into play-in contention.
If KAT is the odd star out in Minnesota, the Blazers would be remiss in not inquiring about this trade. They’d need to move on from Jusuf Nurkic, which might take a draft pick or two, but it’s bad practice to hold onto a good starter over a star player.
The offensive combination of Towns and Lillard would be one of the best one-two punches in the league and could be good enough to make up for the defensive issues the team would continue to have with Towns at center.
The rationale for the Wolves in making this trade is to fully support and hand the keys to Edwards. Simons’ scoring gravity would give him more room to operate, while Sharpe’s upside could come in handy as a bench sparkplug or in a trade to get more defensive talent.
A backcourt of Simons and Edwards, with a backstop of Gobert and Jaden McDaniels, would be a fearsome combination of mish-mashed skills.
More importantly, however, is that the Blazers would have a genuine All-NBA talent to pair with Dame. Towns is in his athletic prime and signed for the next five years, which gives the team time to retool the roster and shore up the defense around them.
Given that it’s a star’s game in the NBA, the Blazers would have the difficult part of the equation solved and more leeway to figure out the smaller details of building a contending team.