As expected, the Minnesota Timberwolves have selected Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns with the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Towns will join Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio as part of an exciting young core in Minnesota.
Towns is one of the most versatile prospects in this draft and might have the highest upside as well. Towns is the rare big man who can block shots (2.3 blocks per game) and stretch the floor, although he didn’t necessarily showcase that during his only year in Lexington.
Towns is somewhat of a mystery after playing on a loaded Kentucky team, which cut into his playing time (21.1 minutes per game). This makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust pick upon entering the NBA, but he should make an immediate impact on defense thanks to his length (around a 7-3 or 7-4 wingspan) and mobility.
Offensively, he has a bunch of potential on the perimeter that went unseen while playing at Kentucky – Towns shot only eight three-point attempts all season, making two, but he was known for being able to shoot the three in high school. He showed some promise on two-point jump shots, shooting 43.1 percent, per hoop-math.com, so maybe in time he can stretch that accuracy out to the NBA three.
Overall, Towns probably has the highest upside out of any prospect in this draft. His two-way potential is through the roof, and Towns will help the Wolves immediately in the paint. With added weight and strength, Towns should be a building block in Minnesota for years to come.
NBA comparison: Dirk Nowitzki
2014-15 stats: 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg (56.6 FG%, 81.3 FT%)