According to Basketball Insiders, the Los Angeles Clippers have reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves to propose a deal that would send stars Blake Griffin and Karl Anthony Towns in opposite directions. The same source indicates that the conversations between the two teams did not last long as the Timberwolves quickly turned down the option of trading their center.

Towns and Griffin heading in different directions

Towns, 22, is an emerging NBA superstar. He is currently averaging 20.2 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.3 assists and co-leading with Jimmy Butler the new-look Timberwolves who are ready to finally make the playoffs and make some noise.

Towns is already dominating his opponents at the post thanks to a polished offensive repertoire, especially with his back to the basket. He is an old-school big man, an endangered species. In addition, he has developed a solid three-point shot that makes him even more difficult to stop or stay in front of. Towns is shooting an amazing 41.1percent from long range this season. What makes Towns even more attractive is the fact that he is still on his rookie contract. This season he is making only $6.2 million.

Griffin, at 28, is a rather dwindling NBA star. He is averaging 22.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this season. Without Chris Paul in the picture, Blake has become the face of the franchise after signing a five year, $171 million contract in the summer.

Griffin has become the team's leader and has played some of his best basketball, at times, this season. However, yet again, the injury-prone player has not been able to remain consistently healthy and the Clippers have struggled during this season.

Clippers sending a message

But why would the Clippers propose a trade that they knew would be immediately rejected?

Given the large difference in salaries between the Towns and Griffin, it is assumed that the Clippers were willing to offer more players in the potential deal. One name that that comes to mind and that has been the focus of many trade rumors lately is All-Star DeAndre Jordan. The 29-year-old may become an unrestricted free agent next summer and it looks like both sides are ready to part ways.

Would a package including Griffin and Jordan be enough to convince the Timberwolves to let go of Towns? It is difficult to imagine a team trading away its young, dominant star, with the potential of becoming a superstar, for two aging stars with a lot of baggage.

After a rocky summer and an inconsistent season thus far, the Clippers might have felt the need to send a message. After Chris Paul's departure, it is in the Clippers' best interest that everyone knows that they have not ceased to pursue excellence and to construct a team that can fight for a championship. The first step was to get Jerry West as a consultant. Now, the Clippers want to continue to be an attractive destination for free agents and star players in general.

What better way to show this than by telling the world that you are pursuing none other than Karl-Anthony Towns?

On the other hand, the Clippers might have wanted to light a fire under their players. The team is currently out of the playoff picture and have no assurance that they will be in that picture come April. The Clippers need the best versions of Griffin and Jordan in order to take several steps forward and become a solid team once again. No, Towns will not be a Clipper and we all knew that, but the team might have benefited from the emergence of this rumor.