2024 first-round pick (via DET, Top-18 Protected)
There may be no player in all of basketball who needs a change of scenery more than Karl-Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves; horrendous decision to pair Towns and Rudy Gobert has led to both players regressing, with teh former off to an especially dispiriting start to the 2023-24 season.
Towns is averaging just 15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists through the first three games of the season. While sample sizes are still small, he's shooting a career-low 37.0 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from three-point range. This comes after Towns averaged his fewest points per game since his rookie campaign.
Gobert's trade value is essentially nonexistent at this point, and his contract is a bloated mess that makes him borderline unmoveable. Towns will be there a year from now when his four-year, $222.7 million deal kicks in, leaving Minnesota between now and February to undo the pairing.
Randle is a natural 4 who is a significantly better fit next to Gobert, having spent much of his Knicks career playing alongside an interior-focused center in Mitchell Robinson.
The Knicks' end of this trade may feel early-2000s Knicksy, acquiring a seemingly declining, expensive former All-Star.
But Towns doesn't turn 28 years old until next month and is one of the greatest shooting big men we've ever seen. He's a career 39.4 percent shooter from three at a high volume, a nightly double-double as a rebounder and a heady passer who could average five or six assists per night if thrown into Randle's role in the offense.
Tom Thibodeau previously coached Towns in Minnesota, so there is some familiarity there. It wasn't exactly the most fruitful relationship the first time around, but if both are willing to give it a second shot, this is a move that could raise the Knick's ceiling.