Minnesota Timberwolves were suppose to kick-start 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday night at Barclays Center. They used first overall pick on Kentucky’s power forward Karl-Anthony Towns. By the end of the evening, 60 players were selected over two rounds.
Towns, possessing the speed, agility and footwork of a winger, shall provide more thrust for Minnesota’s offense. The big man ranked fourth in the NCAA in player efficiency rating (PER), also averaging only 21.1 minutes per game as a part of John Calipari’s 10-man platoon in his only season at Kentucky. That limited his number of minutes per game appearance, but his athleticism and scoring potential remains unquestionable. He can spell danger from all over the court, being a two-way threat.
“It really was a no-brainer,” Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders said regarding the decision.
Towns shot 56.6% from the field and averaged 2.3 blocks per game as he can effectively run down and defend. The 19-year-old, 6-feet-11-inched sensation averaged 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds with the Wildcats last season. Timberwolves hope that the big man lives up to all the hype.
“When (commissioner) Adam Silver came out, I saw him, and he said, ‘With the No. 1 pick …’ (my heart) was racing,” said Towns. “I told Coach Cal (John Calipari) before when he first came out that I was trying to drink water and I was shaking uncontrollably, and I told him, ‘Coach, don’t give me the ball right now for the last-second shot. I wouldn’t make it.’ I was just shocked and just extremely happy that I was able to give my parents something they can remember for the rest of their lives.”
Towns’ selection was followed by Los Angeles Lakers’ picking Ohio’s point-guard D’Angelo Russell.