The New Orleans Pelicans clearly have some of the most promising prospects in basketball. Zion Williamson is one of the most dominant players in the league, being one of the best interior finishers in the game. Brandon Ingram is a promising scorer who can create his own shot from anywhere on the court. Lonzo Ball is a solid point guard who is prolific from beyond the arc, and is an amazing playmaker for his teammates. However, their record this season shows that they are still a piece away from potentially making some noise in the tough Western Conference.
One of the things that could help Zion Williamson flourish is adding more spacing around him. The New Orleans' current starting center is Steven Adams, who while being a great player, doesn't really shoot from outside. Perhaps they could add a stretch 5 to their roster. Recently, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed a potential trade package that would move Karl-Anthony Towns to New Orleans, and potentially create the superteam of the future.
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, Kira Lewis Jr., Jaxson Hayes, 2021 first-round pick (top-five protected), 2021 first-round pick (8-30 protected, via Los Angeles Lakers) and 2025 first-round pick (via Milwaukee Bucks)
If the Minnesota Timberwolves don't feel like they can win, or if Towns asks for a trade, then there is some possibility that this trade could be executed. In an era defined by the ability of players to team up, crazier things have happened. Karl-Anthony Towns is a versatile big man with elite rim protection, but also the ability to shoot at a high level. Here is what Buckley had to say about Towns' fit in New Orleans:
Towns would be a dream get for the Pelicans. If he's not the most skilled center in the Association, he's on a very short list. He is one of just 14 players to average 24 points, four assists and two three-pointers, and the only player in that group who's also pulling down two offensive rebounds per outing.
Putting him in the same frontcourt with Zion Williamson wouldn't be fair. Letting those two run pick-and-rolls together might be a glimpse into basketball's future. Having Brandon Ingram around as an overqualified third option could send this offense into the stratosphere. And if Lonzo Ball is re-signed in restricted free agency, he and Ricky Rubio would have a field day feeding these three top-shelf scorers.
The Timberwolves would quickly concede they aren't winning anything that matters with Towns and D'Angelo Russell, so they'd instead look to brighten their long-term outlook around Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels and hopefully a few other young pups.
Having Karl-Anthony Towns could be the acquisition the puts the Pelicans onto the next level, and that's consistently being in the playoffs and contending. Trading for another superstar would be a huge step in the right direction for New Orleans, and give Towns an opportunity to compete on a team with another superstar. The possibilities are endless for that team, and it would set them up in the present an in the future. It is harder for a small-market team to acquire stars through free agency, which means that trading for Towns could be that much more important for a team that desires to contend. Karl-Anthony Towns would be the perfect center for the New Orleans Pelicans. While the Pelicans would have to give up a tremendous package to get him in this scenario, it would be worth it for a player of his caliber.