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(NBA) Draft or Pass: Karl-Anthony Towns

Kalen Deremo Avatar
June 5, 2015


Over the next few weeks leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft I’ll be reviewing some of the top prospects slated to be drafted before or around the No. 7 overall pick, currently owned by the Denver Nuggets. Because abundant backdrop on each of these players can be found across the Internet, my goal is not to recycle statistics, personal upbringing stories or opinions held by the general public, but rather to interpret the data and ultimately determine whether the Nuggets should draft or pass on these future NBA-check collectors.

Second in BSN’s series analyzing the top prospects in the upcoming draft is Karl-Anthony Towns, the virtual consensus No. 1 pick amongst draftniks, scouts and media members alike.


19 years old | 7-0 | 248 pounds | Center/Power Forward | Kentucky


While the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly still split about who to take No. 1 overall, the Internet is not. Karl-Anthony Towns is the people’s champ. And understandably so. He was the best player, as a freshman nonetheless, on a Kentucky team that nearly went undefeated the entire year. He’s a 7-footer who can stretch the floor. He’s one of the more well-spoken prospects we’ve seen in years. And to top it all off his biggest strength is defense. If there was ever a recipe to go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft, the above ingredients are pretty much all you’d need to make it happen.

Why He’ll Succeed

Karl-Anthony Towns will succeed in the NBA. He has too much going for him not to. He has the height, the low-post moves, the soft shooting touch, the appetite to defend, the Shaq-like court vision, the intelligence, the drive, the determination, and though he does have his weaknesses they’re trivial in comparison with his overwhelming number of strengths. In other words, Karl-Anthony Towns is basically the exact opposite of Kristaps Porzingis, the first prospect I examined in BSN’s Draft or Pass series.

Why He’ll Fail

Towns won’t fail in the NBA. Again, he’s got too many translatable attributes proven to engender success at the next level. But his lack of explosiveness could prevent him from finding the level of success he so easily achieved in college. Towns doesn’t leave the floor the fastest nor does he jump the highest, which somewhat hindered the success of his post moves in college, a trend that will only be exacerbated in the NBA. Additionally, Towns is built in the shape of an upside-down triangle, with extremely broad shoulders and skinny legs — a frame that doesn’t exactly bode leverage in the post against guys like Marc Gasol and even the Nuggets’ own 20-year-old Jusuf Nurkic.

Draft or Pass?

By midnight on June 25 it’s likely Towns will be well on his way to Minnesota. But as we all know the draft is entirely unpredictable, and if Flip Saunders likes Jahlil Okafor as much as is rumored Towns might then fall to the Lakers at No. 2. In this scenario the Nuggets could potentially offer some combination of Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and the No. 7 overall pick to move up and select Towns… but that’s a lot of “ifs.” Given the depth of this draft up front it makes much more sense for the Nuggets to either stay where they’re at or move up only a few spots to forgo surrendering all their best trade assets. No matter the case, if Tim Connelly and the Nuggets somehow find themselves in a position to draft Towns it’s hard to envision them passing on such a well-rounded prospect, especially considering how compatible he’d be alongside Jusuf Nurkic. So while Towns is an outright “draft” in this category there’s still no denying the heaps of obstacles standing in the Nuggets way of obtaining him on draft night, rendering Towns a mere chimera for the time being.

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