Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns
25-Year-Old CenterC
Minnesota Timberwolves
Out
Injury Covid-19
Est. Return 1/29/2021
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Towns is coming off arguably his best season, averaging 26.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.3 threes, 1.2 blocks and 0.9 steals. In eight-category fantasy leagues, that was good for a third-best ranking on a per-game basis. The issue was that Towns missed significant action for the first time in his career, appearing in just 35 games due to knee and wrist injuries. The Timberwolves got some help for Towns for the 2020-21 season, trading for D'Angelo Russell at last season's deadline, trading for Ricky Rubio during the 2020 offseason, and drafting Anthony Edwards. The result could be a heavy pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop scheme. That should lead to easier looks for Towns, who has often been forced to create by himself. Fantasy managers should expect similar production from KAT, if not marginally improved, heading into 2020-21. He's already one of the most efficient scoring bigs in the league, shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 41.2 from three and 79.6 from the free-throw line in 2019-20. While he doesn't have the reputation of someone like Anthony Davis, he's not that far off from a fantasy standpoint, and drafting Towns within the Top 5 is a relatively safe bet. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $158.05 million contract extension with the Timberwolves in September of 2018.
Personal Bio

Karl-Anthony Towns was born in Edison, New Jersey in 1995. The son of Jaqueline and Karl Towns, who played basketball at Monmouth University, Karl-Anthony showed off his prodigious basketball talent at a young age. By fifth grade, he was already practicing with the Piscataway Technical High junior varsity team. By the time Towns got to St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey, he was already a superstar, and he led his team to state championships as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Towns connected on 127 three-pointers over the course of his final three high school seasons and was named to the All-State team three consecutive times. In his last year at St. Joseph's, Towns averaged 20.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game, shooting 66.1 percent from the field and 82.2 percent from the free throw line. Even more impressively, the academic standout left high school with a 3.96 GPA. He chose the University of Kentucky over the likes of Duke, Florida and Kansas. Towns' family runs the KAT Team Foundation, which endeavors "to create a scholarship fund for young adults throughout the United States and increase literacy in underserved communities." As a rookie in the NBA, he partnered with the Salvation Army in January of 2016 to launch a shoe drive, offering Timberwolves tickets in exchange for donations of new and unused shoes. For Thanksgiving in 2017, Towns donated $10,000 to the Minnesota House of Charity Food Centre to fund holiday meals for families and people in need. Towns represents the Dominican Republic on the international stage; in 2018, he and fellow Dominican Al Horford were both named All-Stars, marking the first time two players with ties to the DR played in one All-Star Game. You can follow Towns on Twitter @KarlTowns and on Instagram @karltowns.

College/International Summary

Towns' single season in college was an impactful one, as he was named the 2014-15 SEC Rookie of the Year while making both the All-SEC first team and the SEC All-Freshman squad. The Piscataway, New Jersey native paced Kentucky in rebounds (6.7) and blocks (2.3) per game, and his 10.3 points per game ranked second on the squad. Towns led the Wildcats to an SEC Tournament title win over Arkansas, then helped the team to the NCAA Tournament Final Four before losing to Wisconsin -- the lone loss for Kentucky that season. Towns announced for the 2015 NBA Draft after his freshman year and was selected with the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tests positive for COVID-19
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Covid-19
January 15, 2021
Towns (wrist) tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Towns, who recently returned from a six-game absence due to a wrist injury, now will miss extended time with a positive coronavirus diagnosis. Towns' mother passed away due to complications with the virus, so this is a personal issue for him as well, as evidenced by his emotional social media post. While Towns is isolating and recovering, Naz Reid and Ed Davis will likely see the majority of center minutes for Minnesota.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

In his fifth NBA season, Towns saw action in 35 games, averaging 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest. He started the season on a tear, accounting for 36 points and 14 rebounds in an opening-night win over Brooklyn. Two days later against Charlotte, Towns paced the team with 37 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in a blowout victory. Against the Jazz on Nov. 18, Towns went for 29 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, while tying his season-high with seven made threes. On Nov. 23, Towns scored 31 points and added a season-high 17 rebounds as the Timberwolves fell to the Phoenix Suns by just two points. On Dec. 13 against the Los Angeles Clippers, Towns scored 39 points and added 12 rebounds. Towns recorded 24 double-doubles in 35 games, including nine straight from Nov. 13 to Dec. 1. A knee injury forced Towns to miss 27 games, including the final 12 games before the season was suspended on Mar. 11. That effectively ended Towns' season, as the Timberwolves were not invited to the Orlando bubble for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season.

2018

Towns averaged a double-double for the fourth time in as many years. He posted 24.4 points per game and set new career highs in rebounds per game (12.4) and assists per game (3.4). Towns also made it a point to get to the line, as he averaged a career-best 5.8 free-throw attempts per contest. He was named an All-Star for the second straight year and came off the bench in that game to score 11 points in 11 minutes. On Feb. 28, Towns scored a season-high 42 points against the Pacers. He also set a new career-high for rebounds when he pulled down 27 boards as part of a 110-106 victory over the Pelicans in January. He matched a career-high in blocks twice, swatting six shots against both the Hornets on Dec. 5 and the Heat on Dec. 30. For the season, he finished ninth in the league with 125 blocks. On Mar. 5, Towns racked up 41 points as part of a 131-120 win over the Thunder. In the process, he passed Wally Szczerbiak to move into fifth place on the Timberwolves' career scoring list.

2017

Towns continued his stretch of remarkable durability, appearing in all 82 games for the third straight season. He once again averaged a double-double with 21.3 points (20th in the league) and 12.3 rebounds (fourth in the league) per contest, and he set new career bests in both field-goal percentage (54.5 percent) and three-point shooting (42.1 percent). In fact, Towns finished 14th in the league in three-point field-goal percentage, just behind Stephen Curry and ahead of JJ Redick. Perhaps the biggest highlight was his career-high 56 points against Atlanta on Mar. 28., but he also set a new career mark with 23 rebounds at Boston on Jan. 5. As you might expect from accumulating such numbers, Towns was named to his first All-Star team. Towns also got his first taste of the playoffs in a first-round loss to the Houston Rockets, and he collected double-doubles in each of the series' final three games while attempting to stave off elimination. He was named Third-Team All-NBA, the first All-NBA honors of his brief career -- but likely not the last.

2016

After an impressive rookie season, Towns was even more dominant in his second year. He once again started all 82 games for the Timberwolves, and he shot 54.2 percent from the field, matching his rate from the year before. The former Kentucky standout was able to maintain that strong shooting percentage while taking 18.0 shots per game, up from 14.1 as a rookie. That translated to 25.1 points per game, which ranked 13th in the NBA. Towns added 12.3 rebounds per game, good for sixth in the league. The 21-year-old continued to show impressive comfort from deep for a big man, as he attempted 3.4 3-pointers per game, up from 1.1 as a rookie. Towns increased his 3-point percentage from 34.1 percent to 36.7 percent, making him a true force everywhere on the court. The sophomore recorded his first career 40-point game when he went for 47 points on 15-of-22 shooting against the Knicks on Nov. 30. Towns followed that up with a 41-point effort against Houston on Dec. 17, and he scored 40 against the Lakers on April 9. He grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds against the Rockets on Feb. 25. Towns had two other games with at least 20 rebounds. He finished with an incredible 62 double-doubles on the season, the second-most in the league.

2015

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Towns wasted no time making an impact as a rookie in Minnesota. The big man from Kentucky started all 82 games for the Timberwolves and finished second on the team with 18.3 points per game. He contributed impressively in other areas as well, averaging 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Towns displayed a nice touch from deep for a post player, as he shot 34.1 percent from 3-point range. The 20-year-old also knocked down 81.1 percent of his free throws. Towns scored a season-high 35 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the floor and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line Feb. 10 against Toronto. The rookie had three other games with 30 or more points and scored at least 20 points 32 times. Towns snatched a season-high 21 rebounds against Dallas on Apr. 3. He added 11 points in that contest, giving him one of his 52 double-doubles on the season. Towns ranked sixth in the league with 138 blocked shots, and he posted a pair of six-block efforts. After leading all rookies in points, boards and blocks, Towns unanimously won Rookie of the Year honors, becoming just the fifth player since 1984 to receive all the first-place votes.

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Transaction History
  • June 25, 2015
    Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 2015 NBA Draft.
  • July 7, 2015
    Signed a rookie multi-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves
  • September 22, 2018
    Signed a five-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
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.
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
Friday's game postponed
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Wrist
January 15, 2021
Towns (wrist) and the Timberwolves will not play Friday against the Grizzlies as the game has been postponed, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Probable Friday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Wrist
January 14, 2021
Towns (wrist) is probable Friday against the Grizzlies.
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Another double-double in loss
CMinnesota Timberwolves
January 14, 2021
Towns had 25 points (8-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 8-8 FT), 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in Wednesday's 118-107 loss to the Grizzlies.
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To start Wednesday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
January 13, 2021
Towns (wrist) will start Wednesday's game against the Grizzlies, Wolves radio voice Alan Horton reports.
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Should play Wednesday
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Wrist
January 12, 2021
Coach Ryan Saunders said Tuesday that he expects Towns (wrist) to play Wednesday against the Grizzlies, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Towns is officially listed as questionable.
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