Just How Good Is Karl-Anthony Towns

karl-anthony-towns-getty-ftr-112015_1i033msxfpw6w16c5vdxwbiw3uTry this one on for size. With so much being made of Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors, and the San Antonio Spurs this season (and rightfully so), we may be missing a truly special rookie season by Karl-Anthony Towns. Not only did Towns surprise everyone with his performance in the Skills Competition at All-Star weekend, beating the little guys, but Towns’ stats are reflecting the elite rookie season he is having.

At this writing Towns was averaging 17.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG, and shooting 53.6% from the floor. This puts him in some elite company. In the last 35 years the only rookies to reach 17 PPG, 10 RPG, 1.5 BPG, and shoot 50% or better from the floor are Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Ralph Sampson. Here’s how Towns stacks up:

Karl-Anthony Towns 17.3 10.3 1.8 53.6% 30.8
Tim Duncan 21.1 11.9 2.5 54.9% 39.9
Alonzo Mourning 21.0 10.3 3.5 51.1% 33.9
Shaquille O'Neal 23.4 13.9 3.5 56.2% 37.9
David Robinson 24.3 12.0 3.9 53.1% 36.6
Hakeem Olajuwon 20.6 11.9 2.7 53.8% 35.5
Ralph Sampson 21.0 11.1 2.4 52.3% 32.8

Not only do Towns’ numbers put him in this company, but he is achieving these marks in the fewest number of minutes of anyone on the list at 30.8 Minutes Per Game.

Rookie of the Year winners who did NOT reach these levels include Patrick Ewing, Chris Webber, Emeka Okafor, Elton Brand, Amare Stoudemire, and Blake Griffin. It’s early to know exactly how good Towns is going to be, but looking at the names on this list, I think he’s going to be special.

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