At long last, the Minnesota Timberwolves told Kentucky Wildcats superstar Karl-Anthony Towns what the basketball world has known since earlier in the college season—he will be the 1st overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Well, maybe it wasn’t obvious to everyone because Jahlil Okafor from Duke made a very compelling case for himself; but the Timberwolves and their fan base have fallen hard for the big man since they found out they would be making the No. 1 pick. What’s not to love? Towns can pass, shoot, post up, drive, and dribble all at 6’11. In other words, he’s the perfect replacement for the lost Kevin Love.
Towns has a long road ahead of him in the NBA now. The Wolves finished a dismal 16-66, earning them the right to select Towns. Now Towns will be expected to return the favor by actually making this team a competitor.
Sure, even Love couldn’t lead the Timberwolves to the playoffs, but Towns will have a lot more help. Aside from head coach Flip Saunders, Towns will have the benefit of playing with the last two 1st overall picks, Andrew Wiggins (2014) and Anthony Bennett (2013). That’s right—thanks to the Kevin Love trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Timberwolves will have the last three 1st overall draft picks on their roster come Thursday.
There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being No. 1. Towns will be joining the ranks of Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Anthony Davis, and so on. But, let’s not forget (although easily forgettable), Kwame Brown and Andrea Bargnani were also 1st overall picks.
Only time will tell which group Karl-Anthony Towns will fall in, and until he shows otherwise, Minnesota got a helluva player and man. Towns has been known to show up uninvited at Children’s Hospitals, volunteer to assist children with autism, and actually gave the socks off his feet to a child in the Bahamas during Kentucky’s tour there last summer.
At least if the basketball thing doesn’t work out he’ll always have social work to fall back on.