The Minnesota Timberwolves enter the 2019-20 NBA season with new vigor with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins leading the charge once more. Unlike last season where they had to deal with issues that involved Jimmy Butler, the road ahead seems pretty wide open.
One reason for that is the emergence of Towns. The 23-year-old has responded well to new head coach Ryan Saunders, putting up monster numbers under him last season. In 37 games, Towns averaged 26.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game, quite a turnaround in terms of production for the top overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft.
But his efforts are futile if the T-Wolves are unable to make the playoffs. Last season, Minnesota finished with a 36-46 record, 11th in the Western Conference. But of course, there were a lot of factors to consider like the supporting cast that Towns had.
While he does not count as a supporting cast member, Wiggins has struggled to make a difference for the Timberwolves. In a previous post, it was reported that former Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox sees Wiggins eventually being traded. Unless he proves himself an efficient partner for Towns, that trade could come as early as the 2019-20 NBA season.
As for Towns, he enters the 2019-20 NBA season with plenty of expectations. And two of them are actually from last season’s production – his ability to hit it from deep and sharing the ball.
Let’s dive in and take a look at three way-too-early bold predictions for Karl-Anthony Towns.
3. More Long Bombs From Towns
These days, seeing a big man hit from beyond the arc is a must. Towns showed that ability last season, owning a 42 percent shooting clip on nearly five attempts per game. Such has led some to compare him with retired NBA star Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, although the German never reached five attempts per game in any season of his career.
2. Towns Will Get Everyone Involved
When a big man gets the ball near the basket, the obvious outcome is to take it hard to the basket. Kicking out is possible, although not all bigs are gifted with good passing skills. Towns has shown his ability to pass off and share the ball, calling to mind how Kevin Garnett did during his prime.
The fact that he can find an open teammate should be a cause for concern for opposing teams. This means he can dish out and hit open players who can either drive hard to the basket or hit the outside shot.
1. Breakout Year Imminent
At 23 years old, Towns is already a two-time NBA All-Star. And from the way things are going for him, he is bound for greatness and adding more accolades to his basketball resume. He is the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year and made the All-NBA Third Team last season. Clearly, the writing is on the wall.
The Timberwolves are not among the favorites to win the NBA title this season. For Towns, leading the team to the playoffs is the man objective. Unless he gets support, Minnesota will find the going rough. Wiggins and Jeff Teague need to handle their share as well.
One player who could break out and help as well is Jarret Culver, the sixth overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. He is seen by critics as the next most versatile prospect after top pick Zion Williamson. Hopefully, he is someone who can provide Towns much-needed support.