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Knicks shied away from trade for three-time All-Star due to ‘onerous’ salary


The New York Knicks have made no secret of their desire to acquire another star, and while Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns has long been regarded a likely target, the Knicks are reportedly unwilling to take on his big salary.

SNY’s Ian Begley claimed on “The Lowe Post” podcast that Minnesota held trade talks centered on Towns prior to the NBA Draft but does not know the intensity of the talks. Furthermore, Begley stated that the Knicks “could’ve” acquired Towns, but some team members felt his pay was “too onerous.”

“What I had heard was that the salary, some people felt that the salary was just too onerous, at least at this point,” Begley said. “They’ve felt that the salary was going to really hurt them later in his deal.”

“But listen, I think obviously this dynamic can change at the drop of a dime,” Begley continued. “I do think though, that if they loved the idea of Towns right now, they could’ve had him. That’s just my kind of read on the landscape in general.”

Towns, 27, will make $36 million this season, the final year of a one-year, $190 million contract inked in 2018. He did, however, sign a four-year, $224 million supermax agreement with Minnesota last summer, which begins with the 2024-25 season.

Towns will earn $64.9 million if he exercises his player option during his age-31 season, so it’s understandable that the Knicks are wary of acquiring the three-time All-Star.

According to HoopHype’s Michael Scotto, New York was also hesitant to trade for Clippers star Paul George despite having negotiations with Los Angeles around the time of the draft. The Knicks were unable to agree on the Clippers’ asking price of RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, and three first-round picks.

While the Knicks are looking for another star, it’s evident that the front management is prepared to wait for the perfect trade while continuing to establish the culture that the team has lacked for so long. Meanwhile, the Knicks will keep an eye on the free agent market in the hopes of getting an experienced big man, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.