Karl-Anthony Towns Wallpaper

Top Pick in 2015 No Longer Shrouded in Mystery

Karl-Anthony Towns WallpaperThe speculation for the top pick in the 2015 NBA Draft has ended.

Thursday night, the Minnesota Timberwovles are expected to take Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns with the first overall pick.

Apparently, the complete game of Towns was enough to off set the elite production Duke center Jahlil Okafor provides to warrant the top choice this year.

Towns has a nearly flawless game, as he is capable of playing either power forward or center, has enough speed to run the floor effectively, but also swatted 2.3 shots per game during his freshman season at Kentucky. The 7-foot-1 center already has a polished post game and an effective jump shot.

The Wildcats didn’t rely heavily on Towns to produce offensively, as he attempted just 6.6 shots per game, but he still managed 10.3 points per game and converted 56.6 percent of his attempts from the field.

Unlike so many other centers, Towns is an excellent free throw shooter, as he converted 81.3 percent of his attempts, the second highest of any rotation player on Kentucky last year.

Okafor has an NBA-ready post game and seemingly couldn’t miss during is lone season with the Blue Devils, as he converted 66.4 percent of his attempts from the field as he poured in 17.3 points a night.

Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during his freshman season at Kentucky.
Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during his freshman season at Kentucky.

Only is inability to keep up with big men capable of spacing the floor or protect the rim has propelled Towns to the top spot in the draft.

Wisconsin managed to dominate the first 30 minutes of the national championship game as Okafor was in foul trouble and struggled guarding anyone away from the basket.

When Okafor was on the bench, the Blue Devils rallied, and on the night, he was never able to dominate Frank Kaminsky, a style of player he will likely be guarding frequently in the NBA.

Along with his struggles defensively, Okafor is a liability at the free throw line, as he made just 51 percent of his attempts at Duke and managed to convert just 57 percent of his free throws during his high school career.

Free throw shooting probably wasn’t the deciding factor, the Timberwovles are committing to Towns because of his fit on the team.

Minnesota can trot out one of the most imposing front court combinations in the league next season with the selection of Towns.

Gorgui Dieng flourished during his sophomore season in Minnesota, taking over the starting center position from the injured Nikola Pekovic as he averaged 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

In 73 appearances, he posted 18 double-doubles and like Towns, has a shooting touch. Dieng made 50.6 percent of his shots from the field and converted 78.3 percent of his free throws.

Scoring the ball against Minnesota is going to be a problem for opponents, as Dieng ranked 11th in total blocks, as he turned back 126 attempts.

Towns rejected 80 shots last season, tying him for the 26th most in the nation.

 

Both Dieng and Towns boast a 7-foot-4 wingspan.

The Timberwovles are in desperate need of a defensive presence, even with Dieng on the roster last season, the team surrendered 106.5 points per game, allowed opponents to shoot 48.7 percent from the field and boasted a defensive rating of 112.2 (post surrendered per 100 possessions), with all figures ranking last in the NBA.

To secure the best chance of landing the top overall pick, Minnesota lost each of its last 12 games during the regular season, holding an opponent under 100 points just once in that span while allowing the opposition to post 110.9 points per game.

Offensively, the Timberwolves have a few pieces in place, with Ricky Rubio set to return after missing a majority of the season with a severely sprained ankle.

Karl-Anthony Towns was a consensus Second Team All-American as a freshman last year at Kentucky
Karl-Anthony Towns was a consensus Second Team All-American as a freshman last year at Kentucky

Along with Rubio, Minnesota has each of the last three first overall picks of the NBA Draft on the roster, with Towns likely joining reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

The Timberwolves aren’t interested in using Bennett as a piece going forward, placing him on the trading block just two years after Cleveland selected him with the first overall pick.

While Bennett may not be a part of the future, Wiggins emerged as a franchise cornerstone last season.

Wiggins started all 82 games as he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

Part of his success was derived from his ability to draw fouls, something most rookies rarely do, but Wiggins went to the line 5.7 times a night, tying DeAndre Jordan for the 16th most in the league.

The Timberwovles are hoping the addition of Towns can snap a playoff drought that extended into its 11th season this year.

The only way to find out for sure is to call his name first Thursday night.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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