Standing a monstrous 6 feet 11 inches and weighing 250 pounds, Karl Anthony Towns (KAT) was predicted by many to be a lock for the number one overall pick after showing flashes of greatness throughout his college career. Playing for the Kentucky Wildcats, KAT averaged 10.3 PPG, 6.7 PPG, 1.1 APG and 2.3 BPG in roughly 21 minutes of playtime per game. Some may wonder why his minutes seem so low for a supposed stud and the answer to that is quite simple, it was due to the system of play Kentucky was utilizing.
The platoon system is essentially a way for teams with a surplus of talent to distribute playing time more equitably. The Wildcats simulated a 10 man rotation with players like Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins all demanding sufficient opportunity to showcase their skills.
Despite this, he was still able to shine and attain prestigious recognition that included being a part of the Consensus All-American Second Team, First Team All-SEC and being named SEC Freshman of the Year.
Graphic via mycn2
Strengths & Weaknesses:
KAT is regarded to be one of the more “complete” players from the draft class. He has an impressive offensive game that incorporates more than the typical dunks and layups seen by most centers. Back to the basket, face-up, pick and roll, and mid-range are all ways KAT can dismantle the opposing teams defence. The impressive aspect of this is that he shot over 55% while utilizing a vast arsenal of moves! His defensive prowess also intrigued scouts. With a 7’3 wingspan and 36.5 inch vertical he was able to control the defensive flow of games through blocking opposing shots or sliding into lanes to pick-off passes.
Every goliath has their Achilles heel though, KAT is no different. Falling for pump-fakes or reaching into opposing players arms is a definite no-no for NBA players, something KAT still has to learn. Over aggressive behaviour on the defensive end led to an astounding 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes of play. Another aspect that scouts noticed as something in need of improvement is his lower body strength. One too many times KAT has been pushed around on the block when trying to fight for position.
Fit On The Minnesota Timberwolves:
The Timberwolves are an ideal team for KAT and KAT is an ideal player for the Timberwolves. The Wolves offer him a great landscape to develop alongside other talented youngsters, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. Playing with Ricky Rubio, who is one of the best playmakers in the league, will ensure a smooth transition for Towns and we can expect to see great numbers from him throughout his rookie campaign. Maybe Wiggins can even motivate Towns to follow in his footsteps in terms of being honored with the prestigious Rookie of the Year award!
The Wolves also stand to gain from this acquisition. They are in desperate need of young players to rejuvenate their franchise after being associated with the worst in the league for the past few years. Towns can offer an immediate impact, especially in terms of defence where the Wolves ranked dead last during the previous season. In the grand scheme of things, if everything pans out and everyone reaches their supposed potential, the Wolves might have themselves a deadly core of KAT and Wiggins in a couple years. KAT offers them a player with all-star caliber potential that can be tapped into with the right training and environment.
Graphic via nyloncalculus