Karl-Anthony Towns joined elite company today as he was one of six players to now win a major NBA award unanimously. The others to do it were Rookie of the Year winners Damian Lillard (2013), Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990) and Ralph Sampson (1984). Along with this, he joins unanimous MVP winner Stephen Curry.
Those are some big NBA names to be tagged along with.
Towns was able to post the best rookie year outing by a big man since Tim Duncan’s rookie season. He averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks, as well as helped improve the teams wins from the previous season by 13. The rookie big man was able to win every Rookie of the Month award in the Western Conference. That says it all about how touted this player is.
Towns turned only 20 years old this season, but it didn’t seem like he was ever an unpolished player. He has the ability to pass, defend, score in the paint, and even stretch his game out to the three point line. With this, it makes him a highly coveted big man. The Timberwolves have been struggling for the past few seasons, but with a guy like Towns, a great player like Andrew Wiggins, and even another top pick this year, there is no doubt that the Timberwolves will be competing very soon.
The voting structure for the rest of the rookies went as follows:
- Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota (130-0-0-650)
- Kristaps Porzingis, New York (0-117-12-363)
- Nikola Jokic, Denver (0-7-38-59)
- Devin Booker, Phoenix (0-3-40-49)
- Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia (0-3-25-34)
- Justise Winslow, Miami (0-0-7-7)
- Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver (0-0-4-4)
- Myles Turner, Indiana (0-0-3-3)
- D’Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers (0-0-1-1)
It is crazy to see a guy like Jahlil Okafor, who was the leading scorer for the Sixers this past season, although that is not saying much, finishing fifth in the voting. People will say that this could have to do with him missing time due to his injury, and it very well may be. One thing that Okafor can take away from this is a little motivation. Like Towns, he was only two years removed from high school this past season and went through some growing pains. Unlike Towns, who had a veteran presence like Kevin Garnett to learn under, Okafor was not given much to work with besides other young players. He did not have shooter to stretch the floor and help create spacing down low, so Okafor was working through a lot of double teams this season. That will eventually change.
For the other players in the voting, there is no question to have Kristaps Porzingis finishing second. Porzingis was a tough player to guard this year and will be the player the Knicks can build around for the future. Emmanuel Mudiay finish seventh, to me, was very surprising. I know turnovers were an issue for him, but I felt that his impact for the Nuggets was just as big as Jokic’s.
Congrats to Karl-Anthony Towns on a great season. This may not be the only award we may see him receive in his NBA career.
As Kevin Durant was quoted saying during this past NBA season, “He’s going to be a Hall of Famer in this league.”