Report: Timberwolves pursued Kevin Durant before Rudy Gobert trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Timberwolves pulled off a blockbuster trade for three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert on Friday.
But they were previously aiming much higher.
The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported that Minnesota made "several calls" to the Nets regarding disgruntled superstar Kevin Durant before making the Gobert deal. However, talks reportedly didn't go far due to Brooklyn's steep asking price.
"The Wolves also made several calls to Brooklyn on Kevin Durant, sources said, but the Nets were asking for established All-Stars and a mountain of picks," Krawczynski wrote. "Minnesota was unwilling to part with either Edwards or Towns in a KD-centered deal, so there was no traction."
The Wolves making a run at Durant isn't all that surprising. More than half of the league reportedly reached out to the Nets in just the first couple of hours after news broke of Durant's trade request.
What is a bit surprising is Minnesota's refusal to make Towns available. While KAT is seven years younger and coming off a career year, Durant would immediately become the best player to ever suit up for the franchise, form a lethal 1-2 punch with Edwards and is under contract for four more seasons.
It is worth noting that Towns recently agreed to a new supermax contract with the Wolves, which could have complicated a potential deal. Brooklyn also wouldn't be able to acquire Towns without getting rid of Ben Simmons due to the NBA's designated rookie extension rule.
Ultimately, new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly opted to essentially take the Wolves out of the KD sweepstakes by paying a massive price for Gobert. We'll see if that ends up being the right decision.