To say that expectations are high for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns is an understatement. The young center has impressed in his first two seasons so far, exceeding expectations. Anyone who disagrees can feel free to ask the league. He was already voted unanimously as the 2015-16 Rookie of The Year.
But looking further ahead, only the sky is the limit: Karl-Anthony Towns could one day be the best player in the NBA.
Last year, ABC made a case for Towns being the best league prospect since 2003’s LeBron James. That’s right – if Towns’ potential is being compared to anyone, it’s the 4-time MVP, 3-time Champion, King James. Talk about pressure. Hs efficiency has made his rookie season comparable not only to James, but to the likes of All-Star big men Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis as well.
Could He Be The Best?
What really sets Karl-Anthony apart from Davis and Howard, though, is his that he’s a compete package. His coach Tom Thibodeau says it best: “His skill set is so unique for a 7-footer.”
If one heard about a player with superior footwork who excelled at shooting from every range and passing, one would probably think of a guard, not a big man. And yet Karl-Anthony Towns excels at precisely those abilities, coupled with dexterous post play and rebounding. Don’t just think you can hack Towns’ seven-foot frame on the way up, either. He hits a solid 81% of his free throws. That’s makes him a more reliable at the charity stripe than Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins.
In that respect, he outdoes Dwight Howard – a fantastic center who can grab boards and block shots, but shoots terribly.
Anthony Davis’ skillset may be comparable, but Towns is more durable. He’s faced less risk from injuries, and can play at a high rate without Davis’s nagging knee problems. David hasn’t played more than 68 games in a season yet; in his rookie year, Towns played all 82. If we’re talking about long-term viability, Towns has the edge.
Pair his current stats – 24.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists – with his extremely young age (he’s just 21), and it’s clear why some just can’t wait for him to rise.
How To Win
The thing that Towns needs to focus on now, though, is how to translate talent to wins. Despite the enormous young talent of the Minnesota Timberwolves – a roster that also has Andrew Wiggins and the erstwhile-injured Zach LaVine – the Wolves are still struggling to grab a Playoffs seed. Much of their losses this season came from last-minute meltdowns after building huge leads.
Hope for the future, however: they learned a thing or two about clutch play when they beat the Golden State Warriors Friday night. And Karl-Anthony Towns himself remains humble as ever, soaking up lessons left and right like a sponge (especially those from Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett, no less).
It ensures that he’ll only get better as time goes on. For the rest of the league, this says one thing: get ready for the future.