The super risky wildcard
The Timberwolves surprised a lot of people when they offered Jaden McDaniels a $136 million extension, as they already have a ton of money tied up in Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.
They are one of the only teams with three max guys, which is going to make it very difficult for them to fill out their roster past this season and is going to be very expensive as they surpass the second tax apron.
And are we even sure this team is good? If Minnesota doesn’t want to pay through the nose for an 8th seed, they may decide to move one of their guys and KAT is the likely one.
On one hand, you have a 27-year-old three-time All-Star who averages over 23 points and 11 rebounds for his career, shooting over 52 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line. He’s a top-25 player and still in his prime and those types of guys aren’t easy to get.
On the other hand, he’ll be making $36, 49, 53, 57 and 61 million over the next five seasons and hasn’t been very effective playing with another big who happens to be one of the best defenders in the league.
Given his contract, there won’t be a ton of suitors for KAT, so the Pistons could probably land him, but it would be a huge roll of the dice, as his contract makes him part of your future and there likely isn’t any way out of it if things don’t work out.
A core of Cade Cunningham, Ausar Thompson, Jalen Duren and Karl-Anthony Towns has a higher ceiling than what they have now, but what is that ceiling? An 8th seed? Higher? I’m not sure.
This is a player to watch, as he could be made available and the Pistons are one of the few teams that might pursue him. At least Detroit would finally have a big who can shoot, but he’s expensive, hasn’t won squat and may not get them where they ultimately want to be.