Will Karl-Anthony Towns Win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award?

As the 2015-2016 NBA season comes to a close, the time for recognition at various levels is upon us.  One of the most notable of these acknowledgements is the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

It wasn’t so obvious early on this year as to who would emerge to take home this years honors. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns was always a name in the discussion, but other first year players were as well.  The New York Knicks’ center, Kristap Porzingis, quickly stole the hearts of fans and coaches with the incredible numbers he was able to amass each night. The two front-runners were seemingly neck-in-neck for a good part of the season, but the Kentucky alum was able to move past Porzingis with his level of consistency. Towns left little to the imagination as to who would take home the award this year.

They Grow Up So Fast

NBA Rookie of the Year Towns has played big this year, perhaps perceived as a player beyond his years by many.  Offensively, Towns has it all.  Whether its with his back to the basket, hitting a mid-range jumper, or venturing out further for the occasional three-pointer. It’s the confidence and his basketball IQ that has separated him from the bunch. He tends to take smarter shots than other rookies may take, and it has translated into one heck of a conversion percentage.  While traditional big men are known to linger around the rim in hopes of a well positioned entry pass, Towns can be efficient from all over the court.

Only four players in NBA history have been named NBA Rookie of the Year in a unanimous decision (David Robinson, Ralph Sampson, Damian Lillard, and Blake Griffin).  It is widely assumed that Towns will also receive this award as the outright favorite.  He is near the top in practically all statistical categories amongst his peers, and even shines in some of these categories amidst the leagues elite.  Towns has averaged 17 points / 10 rebounds/ 2 assists / 2 blocks all season long.  Only six players before him can share that level of play, all of whom have gone on to become league MVP’s, world champions, and perennial all-stars.

While its an anomaly for any team to have back-to-back rookies of the year (Andrew Wiggins took home the honor in 2014), it sure looks like this years award will satisfy that notion.  There is clearly a lot of young talent in Minnesota with Wiggins, Levine, and Towns leading the charge.

With Karl-Anthony Towns clearly proving day in and day out that he is a special player, he is also blossoming quickly into one of the leagues best at his position.  While he will get even better and also physically stronger as he continues to break down defenses, other teams who have to face Towns better come prepared.