Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns capped off a brilliant first season and was named the 2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday. He became just the fifth unanimous winner of the award since 1984.
The NBA shared video of Towns donating a Kia Sorento in memory of his former coach Flip Saunders:
Towns, 20, appeared in all 82 games this season and averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. In just his first season, he's already established himself as Minnesota's top player and the cornerstone of the franchise, along with fellow young star and last year's Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins.
As AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today noted, "Towns wasn't only the best rookie in the NBA this season from start to finish, but he was one of the top centers in the entire league as well. Minnesota struck the gold mine."
Towns also put himself in elite historical company, as he became the first rookie since Damian Lillard in the 2012-13 season to win every Rookie of the Month honor, per Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The other men to accomplish the feat include Blake Griffin (2010-11), Chris Paul (2005-06), Carmelo Anthony (2003-04), LeBron James (2003-04), Tim Duncan (1997-98) and David Robinson (1989-90), per Fox Sports North.
That's a good list to be on, in other words.
The Timberwolves appear to have the makings of a strong young core around Towns, with Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and a potential top-five pick in the 2016 draft on June 23. While the team went just 29-53 this season and chose not to retain interim head coach Sam Mitchell, the foundation is there in Minnesota, and big things will be expected in the coming years.
The primary reason for those expectations is Towns. He should only grow as a player and has the potential to be one of the league's most dominant big men sooner rather than later. Minnesota also hired Tom Thibodeau as head coach and president of basketball operations.
The future is bright for Towns and, by proxy, for the Timberwolves.
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