Karl-Anthony Towns: The 2015 NBA draft class isn’t exactly star studded like the 1984 or 2003 class but there is a talented bunch of guys in this class who could be future hall of famers by the time their careers are over and done with. Let’s start with Minnesota Timberwolves Center Karl Anthony Towns. The 7-footer out of New Jersey was a key piece in the “Platoon System” for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. His freshman year he averaged 10.3 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game in just 21 minutes a game. What was most impressive about Towns and what caught NBA scouts’ eye was his defensive prowess. Towns through 39 games averaged an outstanding 2.3 blocks per game totaling 88 blocks for the season which was top 25 in the country. Besides his nose for the ball on the defensive end, Towns has a nice touch around the rim that continues to get better with each game. With that being said, it came as no surprise that Karl-Anthony Towns was selected first overall in the 2015 NBA draft.
Entering the NBA KAT was on a complete tear. His rookie year he averaged an amazing 18.3 points per contest and 10.5 rebounds per game 1.7 blocks per game and stroked it well from beyond the arc shooting 34.5% from the Three. The Timberwolves didn’t finish with the best record (27-55), however, Towns did take home the Rookie of The Year hardware. Next year the 7-footer would continue to improve averaging 25.1 points per game which was 12th in the league. In addition, he provided 12.5 rebounds per game which was 6th in the entire NBA and either in the top 20 in blocks per game averaging 1.3 per.
KAT continues to solidify himself as one of the league’s best big man as this current season he’s scoring 20.2 points per contest and grabbing 12.1 boards per game. It’s clear to see that his shot from the Three continues to get better as he’s shooting an amazing 42.5% from deep. This year the T-Wolves are 4th in the Western Conference, with the help of key acquisitions Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Behind coach Tim Thibodeau, Towns will see a ton of minutes helping his team getting ready for the playoffs. It’s safe to say that KAT has tremendous upside and is the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the NBA.
Devin Booker: Booker was an absolute stud in high school. The 6’6 sharpshooter averaged 30.9 points per game his senior year at Moss Point High School in Mississippi. He even dropped 40 in front of Coach Calipari of The Kentucky Wildcats and committed to play for him shortly thereafter.
At the University of Kentucky, Booker established himself as a potent scorer. Now his numbers may not reflect that as he was also under the Coach Cal “Platoon System” , but he averaged 10 points and show his phenomenal stroke shooting 47.0 % from the field and 41.1 % from deep while converting 82.8 % of his free throws. He was second among all Kentucky Wildcats with 20 double figure scoring games in 2014-2015 and that earned him SEC Sixth man of the year, Second team All-SEC and All-SEC Freshman Team honors. Devin Booker would only play one year at Kentucky then declare for the NBA Draft.
It was no shock the deadly scorer could put points on the board, what was most impressive was his high basketball I.Q. at only 18 years of age. This lead to him being the 13th pick in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. Booker’s first season with the Suns he averaged 13.8 points shooting 48 %. With a team full of guards, it was hard for him to shine his rookie year, however earned a spot on the All-Rookie team. The next year Devin Booker would continue to dominate averaging 22.5 points per game shooting 47% In one game he dropped an outstanding 70 points against the Boston Celtics, who ranked within the top 5 defenses last year, and were the top seed in the East. This season the sharpshooter continues to show a plethora of diverse ways to score the basketball as he averages 24.5 points per game and was recently crowned NBA three-point contest champion, setting a record with 28 points in a round. Devin Booker at 21 years old is shining and has potential to be one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen as he is often compared to Kobe Bryant.
Both guys have very bright futures and it’s going to be stellar seeing them dominate the NBA for years to come.
-By Safir Robinson