Although ranking the top 30 NBA players in today’s game is an incredibly difficult task, The Last Word on Pro Basketball staff has taken it on. Debuting at number 16 in the countdown is Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.
Top 30 NBA Players
Number 16 – Karl-Anthony Towns
After a stellar freshman season at the University of Kentucky, Karl-Anthony Towns was drafted first overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Towns made an immediate impact on the Timberwolves and has continued to improve his game throughout his five seasons in the league.
He is one of the preeminent offensive centers in the league and has expanded that part of his game every year, even adding some new wrinkles to his already deep offensive repertoire. His career stat line is an impressive 22.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
Karl-Anthony Towns has a great game on the offensive end of the floor, and it is ever-expanding. Quite possibly the most impressive thing about his offensive game is the efficiency with which he scores over 20 points per game.
Towns has never had a season where he shot below 50 percent from the field. This comes even as he has increased his three-pointers attempted per game from just over one as a rookie to nearly eight per game in the shortened 2019-20 season. He has shot 53 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range, and 83.1 percent from the charity stripe over his five-year career.
He has been able to add three-point shooting to his game over the last few seasons. This is a trait developing in many of the centers in today’s NBA but arguably none have adapted better to this than Towns.
The most glaring weakness in Towns’ game is his defense. When it comes to statistics there are very few that track defensive abilities, but the ones that do are not very favorable for him. He ranks near or below league average in defensive win shares and defensive box plus/minus. These stats are a quantitative look at what many people see with their eyes when watching Towns play.
He has problems with larger post players when they get him into the paint. When you combine that with his struggles to guard the pick-and-roll it makes it apparent that Towns needs to consider putting the time into the defensive end of the floor that he does into his offense.
Over his five-year career, Karl-Anthony Towns has been named an All-Star twice. He was also arguably one of the bigger snubs of the 2019-20 All-Star game. He has also been named to the All-NBA third team once, in 2017-18.
The biggest accolade he has received was being named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2015-16 season after winning NBA Rookie of the Month in every month of that season.
Towns certainly has more All-Star games ahead of him if he continues on this trajectory. The sky is the limit for him, especially if he puts a focus on improving defensively.
Last Word on Pro Basketball Top 30 NBA Players Ballots
We believe in full transparency in the top 30 NBA player rankings so we are going to disclose the ballots of our player rankings and where each contributor had each player ranked.
Tyler Marling – Site Manager – 13
Chase Gage – Managing Editor – 17
David Knight – Marketing Manager – 15
Zach Kircher – Associate Editor – 12
Matthew Waldman – Associate Editor – 19
David Ward – Author – 18
Avinash Chauhan – Contributor – 12
Adam Zigner – Contributor – 16
Albert Dadson – Contributor – 17
Dylan Guest – Contributor – 13
Raheem Bashir – Contributor – NR
Nathan Levine – Contributor – 18
Bill Huan – Contributor – 16
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