Kevin Durant, who has a 99% chance of entering the Hall of Fame, said Tuesday that Timberwolves rookie, Karl-Anthony Towns, will be a Hall of Famer by the time he retires.
“He’s going to be a Hall of Famer in this league,” Durant said to AP’s Jon Krawczynski. A very bold statement from one of the best scorers of all time, but does his statement have validity?
Durant knows great talent when he sees it; he was once a rookie who took the NBA by storm back in 2007-08. As a 19 y/o forward for the Seattle Supersonics, Kevin Durant appeared in 80 games and averaged 20.3PPG en route to a Rookie of the Year award. Since then, he’s a six-time all-star selection, four-time scoring champ, and one-time MVP winner.
While Towns has yet to win the ROY, he’s the front-runner and Kristaps Porzingis seems to be the only competitor.
Statistically, Towns is having a great season. The 20-year-old has averages of 15.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and is shooting 53% from the field through 38 games. Despite playing for the lowly Wolves, Towns has showed the ability to evolve into a franchise player, alongside fellow franchise player Andrew Wiggins.
KAT possesses a good inside-out game, with athleticism that allows him to get out and run the floor. He’s tenacious on the boards and is the only rookie this season with a PER of 20+ while playing 20+ minutes per game.
In league history, only seven other players have put up such numbers in their rookie season:
- David Robinson (’89-90): 24.3p/12.0r/3.9b
- Tim Duncan (’97-97): 21.1p/11.9r/2.4b
- Shaquille O’Neal (’92-93): 23.4p/13.9r/3.5b
- Hakeem Olajuwon (’84-85): 20.6p/11.9r/2.7b
- Alonzo Mourning (’92-’93): 21.0p/10.3r/3.0b
- Chris Webber (’93-94): 17.5p/9.1r/2.2b
- Ralph Sampson (’83-84): 21.0p/11.1r/2.4b
*Blocked shots weren’t official until the 1973-74 season*
Of those seven players, four of them — Robinson, Olajuwon, Morning, and Sampson — are in the Hall of Fame, and the other three are all future Hall of Famers. If history was to repeat itself, Towns is already primed for a Hall of Fame run, and a few championships would benefit his case.
*Photo Credit: USATSI*