Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns continues to be overlooked

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 28: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves . (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 28: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves . (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns continues to dominate. At the same time, he continues to be underrated by the NBA community at large.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a Rookie of the Year award-winner and two-time All-Star who is still somehow being overlooked and underrated.

And here’s the thing: Karl-Anthony Towns was all the rage just two seasons ago. Somehow, making the playoffs with another All-Star in Jimmy Butler and then being awash in Butler’s wake the following season while still improving have caused him to become, well … a forgotten star.

We’ve called this out a few times here at Dunking With Wolves over the course of the offseason, most recently in a fantastic piece by Tyler Metcalf.

Also this summer, The Ringer’s Danny Chau made the case for Towns as the best big man in the league, and, as we noted here at DWW, the argument wasn’t all that far-fetched.

Now, Brad Rowland of Dime on Uproxx has taken notice.

"[Over the last three seasons], Towns is the only player in the NBA to surpass 23 points and 12 rebounds per game with 39 percent from three and, beyond that, only Stephen Curry can match Towns as a player averaging at least 23 points per game with 39 percent from three and at least 62 percent true shooting. Last season, Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid joined Towns in averaging at least 24 points and 12 rebounds per game, but none display the type of long-range marksmanship of Towns and, simply put, he is on course to be the best perimeter shooter in the history of the NBA’s center position."

It sure feels as though Towns is in a weird place when it comes to the national stage.

Rowland also points out that, just two years ago, Towns was the easy favorite for league general managers as the player they would most like to start a franchise with. Just two years ago!

Last year, Towns was left off all three All-NBA teams and is often no longer mentioned with the rest of the league’s “unicorn” big men: Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and even the injured Kristaps Porzingis.

Towns’ so-so defense over the first three years in the league is largely to blame, as well as his team’s 36-win performance last year. But he’s incrementally improved each season, and despite a slow start that was unquestionably impacted by the Butler saga, he had a monster second half of the season and nearly dragged a team that had no business being in the playoff conversation into the playoff conversation in the month of March.

At any rate, it’s time to acknowledge that while Towns may have been a tad overrated in his first couple of years in the league, he’s been lost in the shuffle enough over the past 18 months or so that he’s now officially underrated.

Next. 3 bounce-back candidates for the Wolves in 2019-20. dark

Of course, if he comes out on fire this year and pulls the Wolves back into the mix for a playoff spot, things will change in short order.