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Karl-Anthony Towns: 2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year

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“With the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Karl-Anthony Towns from the University of Kentucky.” After finishing with the worst record in the NBA last year, the Timberwolves sat at the bottom of the barrel at 16-66. Playing in the Western Conference can be hard with teams like Golden State, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, who seem to get progressively better every year, while other teams seem to be at a stand still. A lack of experience definitely had a lot to due with the teams struggles, as an unbelievable 14 of 25 players on the Minnesota roster last year had one year or less in their NBA careers. One player who shined the brightest out of them all and left a positive mark on a less than positive season was last years Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins. The Draft Lottery came and Minnesota found themselves with the number one pick for the next years draft.

Coming into draft night, Karl-Anthony Towns was a no brainer to almost everyone as the number one pick. Spending his first and only season at Kentucky, Towns per 40 minutes was averaging 19.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks a game. But also coming into that night, were many other talented players from all over the country and the world who were looking to make their presence felt by whatever team drafted them. In the top five alone, were three serious contenders for this years ROTY award at one point during this season. Other than Towns, Philadelphia 76er’s rookie Jahlil Okafor and New York Knick’s pick Kristaps Porzingis also played great for their respective teams. In the end Towns would beat out the other contenders for the Rookie of the Year award, making it the Timberwolves second straight year with a player winning it on their roster.

Playing and starting in all 82 games for the Timberwolves this season, Towns helped Minnesota improve on their record from last season, winning an extra 16 games giving them a final record of 29-53. He won Rookie of the Week award once, while winning the Rookie of the Month award EVERY MONTH for the Western Conference. He also showed off his amazing set of skills at this years All Star weekend, where he won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, becoming the first center to ever win the completion since its inception in 2003. Towns averaged a double-double his rookie year, putting up 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a night. He also added 2 assists and almost 2 blocks a game as well. Compared to the other two big names in the ROTY race, them being Kristaps Porzingis and Jahlil Okafor, Towns was ahead of them in basically every statistical category to name. Shooting 54% from the field, 34% from three and an amazing 81% from the free throw line, Towns showed he could score almost anywhere on the floor. KAT finished his rookie season with the second best player efficient rating amongst NBA rookies all time behind only Shaquille O’neal’s 1992 season. Shaq’s rookie season ended with a 22.9 PER, while Karl-Anthony Towns’ PER was only .4 shorter at 22.5.

With his entire career in front of him, Karl-Anthony Towns will look to help build the Minnesota Timberwolves into a dominant force not only in the West, but in the entire NBA. Getting help from young teammates Zach Lavine, Andrew Wiggins and new head coach Tom Thibodeau taking over next season, the Wolves seem are primed to make noise in the coming years. Congratulations to Karl-Anthony Towns, the NBA’s 2015-2016 unanimous Rookie of the Year Award winner!

About Emanuel Godina

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