Why he will: Improved defense
Towns is a quality defender. He might not be a defensive ace, but he's noticeably improved on the less glamorous end. It might not be obvious when assessing his counting stats, but his advanced metrics make it clear.
The former Wildcat took some time to adjust to playing next to Rudy Gobert, but now it appears Towns is comfortable playing the power forward spot. After spending 98 percent or more of his time at the five, he's spent just five percent of his time this season at center.
No longer the sole backline defender, Towns' responsibility as a perimeter defender has increased. He's shown improved defensive awareness and profiles better defending power forwards. Rather than playing drop coverage, Towns does a fine job of hedging picks and playing help perimeter defense.
He's no longer matched up with centers with Gobert on the roster. Towns has the free range to help on drives, where he then uses his length to contest perimeter shots once the ball has been kicked back out to a 3-point shooter.
His improvement in perimeter defense is telling. He's holding opposing pick-and-roll ball handlers to a 33 percent field goal percentage. His improved lateral quickness has allowed him to keep up with wings and even some guards.
This season, Towns ranks in the 64th percentile of defensive estimated plus/minus. Both his estimated plus/minus and win shares are in the 90th percentile, displaying Towns' improved all-around game.