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Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns says he likes Minnesota, hasn't considered rumored trade to Knicks

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives around

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives around Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.  Credit: AP/Michael Conroy

Karl-Anthony Towns shut down the rumors almost before they started.

Weeks after reports circulated that the Knicks might be interested in trading for the Timberwolves star, Towns, in his first game back from injury, said he has no intention of leaving Minnesota.

“I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf,” he said Friday after returning from a 15-game absence because of a left knee sprain. “I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is. There’s a reason those stories are made because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be . . . [I’m] very fortunate I have a head coach like [Ryan Saunders], a president and friend like [Gersson Rosas]. I’m not worried about all that nonsense.”

The New York Post reported in December that the Knicks were interested in pursuing starter-level talent at the trade deadline, particularly Towns, who last offseason signed a five-year, $190 million super-max extension. The two-time All-Star grew up a Knicks fan in New Jersey, and after striking out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Knicks still are searching for a marquee player.

Reggie in for RJ

With RJ Barrett out at least a week with a sprained right ankle, coach Mike Miller started Reggie Bullock in his spot, an arrangement that could continue past Saturday. “We may look at it game-to-game and it may well end up being the same,” Miller said before the Knicks’ 90-87 loss to the 76ers. “[Bullock has] started a number of games over the last week, 10 days, and did a good job, helped us get off to good starts.” Dennis Smith Jr. remained out with an oblique injury. Wayne Ellington (illness) also was held out.

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