The NBA Substance Report: #22 Out of 30 - Karl-Anthony Towns

What the fuck is popping everybody? My sincerest apologies for abandoning the internet for so long, I had some priorities to attend to with the boy Hotto. I'm back from Mexico and am beyond ready to talk some more hoops after a week long departure from the NBA.

Before we things get started; I'd like to thank the guy, Jack Martin, for taking over the Substance Report rankings for me in the mean time. The Martian and I will be back this Tuesday with a new episode of The Fro and The Flow, so stay tuned for that as well.

Here's a cool link that will take you to a website where you can listen to any of the 11 episodes we've done so far for free. Come on, listen to that shit, it's fucking free. WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FROM US?

Now, it's time to get back to the rankings.


To all of the loyal The Fro and The Flow podcast fans out there, I'm sure you're aware that Jack Martin and I have a nearly-weekly segment titled Watch The Throne (Yes, the segment is inspired by the greatest collaboration of all-time, Watch The Throne, by Jay-Z and Kanye West).

During this podcast segment, Jack Sparkin' and I break down the most talented basketball players in the world at that current moment by ranking them 1-15 (Think of it like this: If you were to start an NBA team today from scratch, zilch, nada, who would be the first player that you'd choose to help you win if they were all available?).

Because Jack and I are so dedicated to watching, observing, and sucking however much milk we can out of the NBA's utter, and are also two separate human beings, we have some disagreements every so often.

This daily column over the next 23 days will be relatively similar to that segment. The biggest, and most important difference is that this cluster fuck of a ranking will be an attempt towards breaking down the most valuable players in the NBA in accordance with how vital they are to their team's success.

(Say, if you took Stephen Curry off of the Golden State Warriors, would they still be able to win a championship this season? Or if you took Giannis off of the Bucks would they win 45 games? And other hypothetical things of that nature).

This is what the rankings look like so far.


30. Lou "Two Girls and They Get Along Like I'm Lou Will" Williams

29. Domantas "Arvydas's Son" Sabonis

28. Montrezl "Holy Shit That Guy Tries Hard" Harrell

27. Mike "Never Leaving Memphis Because Cash Rules Everything Around Me C.R.E.A.M.!" Conley

26. Klay "Not Just Steph's Sidekick" Thompson

25. Trae "Ugliest Player in the League" Young

24. Ben "Kendall Jenner's Bae/Fresh Prince" Simmons

23. Nikola "Diet Jokic" Vucevic

22. Karl-Anthony "Who Was the Last Good Player With Two First Names?/KAT" Towns

Three years ago, Karl-Anthony Towns came out of the University of Kentucky as a well-rounded big man that didn't get enough touches to showcase his entire arsenal of moves. He was the inarguable first pick after his freshman year because of both the athleticism and touch that he displayed.

The 6'11" Calipari Product has had moments early in his career where he's looked both like a combination of Tim Duncan and Joel Embiid, but he's also had low moments where he looks like a more athletic Mehmet Okur.

KAT's career averages are impressive, especially for him being only a junior. And the best part is, the young stud is only getting better despite the ascension of battle royale video games like PlayerUnkown's BattleGrounds and Fortnite during his last two seasons.

Karl-Anthony Towns Statistics

Career: 22.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 53.8 FG%, 39.5 3FG%, 83.5 FT%, 0.8 SPG, 1.5 BPG

This season: 24.6 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 52.2 FG%, 41.1 3FG%, 83.2 FT%, 0.9 SPG, 1.7 BPG

KAT has demonstrated to the league that he can be a force on any given night. Whether he is posting up a smaller, shorter, weaker, less lengthy defender, and making a post move, or spreading out the defense with his ability to put the ball on the floor and pull up for a jumper, Towns is absolutely lethal on the offensive end of the floor.

The Timberwolves would definitely like to see him progress into the potential he's displayed as a defender sooner than later. Towns has had sneak peaks of moments where he looks like he could be a diet version of Kevin Garnett, I just (unrealistically) wish that the same intensity was there in Towns's psyche.

In his first three seasons in the NBA, KAT has only made the playoffs once (last year in the 2017-18 season) and was bounced in five games by the Houston Rockets. Not only did the Wolves get nearly swept by the Harden led Rockets, but each of their core three players (Butler, Towns, and Wiggins) failed to eclipse a series average of 16 PPG. There was a clear lack of chemistry that ended up carrying into the 2018-19 season which resulted in Jimmy Butler being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for essentially Dario Saric, and Robert Covington.

In the nicest terms possible, KAT looked fucking sad in this series. Yes, he was crashing the boards like a beast with 13.4 per game, but his shooting was beyond atrocious. He was 28/60 from the field, 3/11 from three, and 17/23 from the line. If the Timberwolves wanted any chance to upset the Rockets in that first round, they would have needed Towns to be hitting on his jump shots in order to pull the rim protecting mastermind that is Clint Capela away from the hoop.

If the Timberwolves intend on making the playoffs with a core of Wiggins, Towns, Saric, and Covington, then they're going to need hit on a point guard that has superstar potential. And his name can't be Tyus Jones (as much as I hate to say it, because you know, #DukeInTheNBA #TheBrotherhood).