Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns
23-Year-Old CenterC
Minnesota Timberwolves
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Set to turn 24 years old in 2019-20, Towns is coming off two straight All-Star appearances. Over the past two seasons, he's averaged 22.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 blocks. Maybe most impressive is his efficiency, with Towns shooting 53.1 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from deep and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line as an All-Star. While his production hasn't translated into wins for the Timberwolves, he's undoubtedly one of the best big men in the league on the offensive side of the ball, capable of scoring from anywhere on the court. In 2018-19, he registered 20 performances with at least 30 points, not to mention three 40-point efforts. Minnesota didn't add any high-usage players during the offseason, so Towns' role should be secure. Health is also valuable in fantasy, and Towns has been excellent at staying on the court. He didn't miss a game through his first three seasons, and while he played 77 games last year, he only missed time due to a car accident. Despite not being an All-NBA player, there's plenty of justification for Towns to be the first center off the board in fantasy drafts. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $158.05 million contract extension with the Timberwolves in September of 2018.
Dominant in Tuesday's win
CMinnesota Timberwolves
October 15, 2019
Towns tallied 33 points (13-20 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in 26 minutes during Tuesday's 119-111 win over the Pacers.
ANALYSIS
Towns was terrific, showcasing his touch from beyond the arc while recording a double-double and contributing in the assist and block departments. If Towns can take his defense to another level this season, he'll become that much more valuable for fantasy purposes, as he's already established himself as an elite offensive player.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
Towns was rightfully in the discussion to be the number one pick in many Fantasy leagues last season, and while he was not able to reach those lofty heights, it would be unfair to suggest he was a disappointment. While it took some time for Towns to gel with new teammate Jimmy Butler, he played in all 82 games for the third straight season and finished with averages of 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. Towns' scoring numbers took a slight hit with the arrival of Butler, but unlike Andrew Wiggins, Towns was able to maintain his efficiency from both the field (54.5% FG) and the free-throw line (85.8% FT). Amazingly, Towns also finished the season as the Timberwolves' leading three-point shooter, hitting a very respectable 42.1 percent of his 3.5 attempts per game. As he did in his sophomore season, Towns seemed to get better as the season progressed. As he enters his fourth season, the hope is that Towns can continue to improve, particularly on the defensive end. Once again, Towns projects to be among the elites at his position when it comes to Fantasy production, though owners may be able to get him at a (very slight) bargain on the heels of an offseason laced with some uncertainty and internal dissension.
Towns, the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year, burst onto the scene as a truly elite talent last season. He’s a transcendent player at the position, and is essentially the archetype for the “modern” center. While questions remain about his defensive ability, he still managed to average a combined 2.0 blocks and steals last season at age 21. Ultimately, his stats speak for themselves. Towns posted 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists across 37.0 minutes per game. The 7-footer also shot 54.2 percent from the field and made 1.2 threes per game at a 36.7 percent clip. Along with his great shooting from the field comes an impressive 83.2 percent mark from the charity stripe – often a sore spot for otherwise dominant centers. While he may be relied upon less to score now that Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague are in town, it seems doubtful they’ll take enough shots away from him to drop his Fantasy value significantly. Towns could just end up with a higher field-goal percentage, dropping volume in favor of efficiency. Regardless, he should once again be a top-10 overall Fantasy talent, with more than enough upside to warrant a top-five selection.
There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe Towns’ transcendent rookie season, during which the No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky improbably exceeded the vast expectations placed upon him. While coasting to unanimous Rookie of the Year honors, Towns suited up in all 82 games and averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 boards, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 81.1 percent from the free-throw line. In providing context to just how sensational Towns was, Shaquille O’Neal is the only other 20-year-old in NBA history to average 18 points and eight rebounds and shoot at least 49 percent from the field in a season. And unlike Shaq, Towns displayed some surprising touch from the outside, connecting on 30-of-88 (34.1%) three-point attempts. For a player this young who checks in at seven-feet tall, Towns is uncommonly polished, displaying impact ability on both sides of the court and impressive all-around efficiency. If there’s a nit to pick, Towns could stand to improve upon the 2.2 turnovers per game he averaged as a rookie, but with few flaws in his game beyond that, the big man already has the look of a potential superstar in the league. After averaging 15 or more shot attempts per game in the last three months of his rookie season, Towns should take on a larger role in the T-Wolves’ attack in Year 2, which figures to include an even greater flirtation with the three-point line. Add it all up and Towns makes for an excellent first-round cornerstone in all fantasy formats, particularly in leagues where the percentage categories are emphasized.
Towns enters the NBA as the first-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and will team with budding star Andrew Wiggins to form a duo that Minnesota can rely on for years to come. The question for fantasy owners is whether that translates to a big rookie season for the big guy out of Kentucky? Last season as a freshman, Towns averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 2.5 blocks in a mere 21 minutes per game. In Minnesota, Towns will likely start and be given every opportunity to succeed, but a loaded depth chart may rob Towns of full starter's minutes. Kevin Garnett, Nikola Pekovic, Adreian Payne, Anthony Bennett, and Gorgui Dieng are all candidates to see playing time at either power forward or center, putting Towns' minute distribution into question as he acclimates to life in the NBA. Where the former Kentucky Wildcat should make an instant impact for fantasy owners is in blocks. Towns posted an 11.5-percent block rate at Kentucky. To put that in perspective, the NBA-leader in block percent in 2014-15 was Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who posted an outstanding 7.0 percent block rate. Clearly, Towns isn't going to bring that hefty block rate to the pros with him, but it does show that he's an elite shot-blocker. Towns is a great upside pick, but he's probably a few years away from becoming the dominant force he was drafted to be for the Timberwolves and for fantasy owners.
More Fantasy News
Double-doubles in preseason loss
CMinnesota Timberwolves
October 9, 2019
Towns tallied 19 points (7-13 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block across 19 minutes during the Timberwolves' 111-106 preseason loss to the Suns on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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Ruled out Wednesday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Knee
April 10, 2019
Towns (knee) has been out for Wednesday's game against Denver, Christian Clark of BSNDenver.com reports.
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Doubtful Wednesday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Knee
April 10, 2019
Towns (knee) is doubtful for Wednesday's finale against the Nuggets.
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Out Tuesday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Knee
April 9, 2019
Towns (knee) is out Tuesday against the Raptors, Jace Frederick of St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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Questionable vs. Toronto
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Knee
April 9, 2019
Towns is listed as questionable for Tuesday's game against the Raptors with right knee inflammation.
ANALYSIS
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