Why Karl-Anthony Towns is the No. 1 prospect in the NBA Draft

It’s a “forgone conclusion” that Karl-Anthony Towns will be the top pick in the NBA Draft, with a unanimous consensus among draft experts that the Minnesota Timberwolves will take him No. 1 overall.

All season long Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor were considered the top two prospects in the draft, but over the last few months Towns’ stock has surged and he’s now considered the clear No. 1 prospect.

Towns’ measurables are an NBA scout’s dream for a center. He’s 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-3-inch wingspan. He’s also strong, which differentiates him from tall-but-skinny big men like Kristaps Porzingis.

But what truly separates Towns from Okafor, Porzingis and other potential top picks is his versatility. Towns isn’t just a prototypical big man, he can post up, shoot, defend multiple possessions, and protect the rim.

A lengthy scouting video of Towns from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express highlights his wide variety of skills.

He can bully his way in the post:

He can shake off a defender and hit the open jumper:

He has a nice hook shot:

Towns also has the ability to run the floor, deliver passes from the post, and shoots 82% from the free throw line. But, the best part of Towns’ game is his defence. It’s what has led experts, such as ESPN’s Chad Ford, to say the gap between Towns and Okafor “isn’t even close.”

He can guard players on the perimeter:

He can guard players in the post:

He can protect the rim and block shots:

The scariest factor to consider is Towns didn’t even show us his complete arsenal this past season. Due to Kentucky’s style of play, Towns only attempted eight three pointers all season. In high school, though, he led his team in three-pointers made.

If you factor in his shooting, Towns has the versatility to play as a prototypical center or a stretch four. Considering his multi-dimensional scoring and ability to guard much smaller players on the wing, a team could even potentially play Towns in a fast-paced small-ball lineup like the one the Golden State Warriors commonly use.

With such a long list of strengths, and with so few weaknesses, most of the NBA world agrees that Towns is the best player in this year’s draft.

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