In the NBA, when it comes down to a struggle between an elite player and the coach/GM, who wins? The player. A top 10 NBA player is much harder to get than a coach. If you don't believe it's the player go ask David Fizdale or Kevin McHale or Paul Westhead or.. I could fill up the entire NBC server with instances, you get the point.
As the tension between Karl-Anthony Townsand coach/GM Tom Thibodeau has bubbled to the surface in Minnesota, some teams have called up Thibodeau and the Timberwolves to check on KAT's availability in a trade.
But would the Timberwolves really trade Towns? If one side is going to lose this battle, it's Thibodeau, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Russillo Show (hat tip Uproxx).
To be clear, Thibodeau isn't going anywhere this summer (unless he makes some kind of a power play move, like trying to trade Towns). The Timberwolves improved by 16 games last season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2004 - that was a step forward. Maybe not as big of one as some wanted/expected, but it wasn't the kind of season that gets a coach/GM fired.
There's also an odd dynamic in this with Jimmy Butler - he is Thibodeau's guy. Butler has his back, and he can be a free agent in a couple of years, so if Minnesota wants to keep him then keeping the coach matters.
As for trading Wiggins, that is something to keep an eye on. Even if it's not likely. After a disappointing 2017-18 season, there has been buzz around the league about the Timberwolves testing the market for Wiggins. The problem is Wiggins' five-year, $148 million fully guaranteed contract kicks in next season - few teams want to take that on. To move Wiggins, Minnesota will have to take back bad contracts and/or send out sweeteners with him. Demand will not be high, despite Wiggins' potential.
As Wojnarowski noted, both Butler and Towns have new contract coming up in the next couple of seasons, and both are clear max players. It puts Minnesota in a tight spot with the cap. They will be looking for some relief.
Just remember, if it comes down to Thibodeau or Towns, the player always wins. Especially a young, on-the-rise player.