Those who watched No. 1 draft choice Karl-Anthony Towns during the Las Vegas Summer League, in which the Wolves conclude their games Friday night, came away impressed. Here's a sampling of what was written:
Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News listed 10 things he learned while watching the summer league, and one of them was that Towns will be the NBA Rookie of the Year. He wrote: "While he's struggled to find his rhythm in Summer League, the top overall pick has shown glimpses — from perimeter shooting to impressive passing you just don't see in someone his size."
On the Sports Illustrated blog, Ben Golliver praised the potential of Towns and 2014-15 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins: "Ending an 11-year run of lottery trips won’t be an overnight process, and the short-term expectations are fairly minimal for a rebuilding Minnesota team that won just 16 games last season. Still, the Wiggins/Towns duo already represents—without playing a single regular season game together—the brightest hope for Minnesota basketball in a decade."
On Grantland, Towns was called "the underrated No. 1 draft pick" in a story by Andrew Sharp: "With Towns, everything fits. He moves like he’s been this size forever. We saw some of it at Kentucky, but in stripped-down summer league games you could really appreciate what we’re dealing with. Instead of straining to fit into a sport that’s now dominated by guys 6 inches shorter than him, Towns looks like a small-ball cheat code."
Dylan Murphy of Bleacher Report did an in-depth critique of Towns' game at both ends of the court and concluded: "Towns is well ahead of most bigs when they enter the league, and very few bring both an offensive and defensive skill set. Looking across the league, there simply aren't very many bigs who feature both ends of the floor. DeMarcus Cousins and Al Jefferson, two of the best post-up bigs in the league, aren't known as rim protectors. Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan guard the rim like very few players can, but neither can do more than dunk or finish around the rim on offense. If Towns continues on his upward trajectory as both an offensive and defensive player, he can quickly become one of the best big men in the league."
We encourage you to click on the links above and read the full reports. There's a lot of hype and excitement about Towns -- and it's much more than a local thing. If you're a Wolves fan, it has to be fun to see your team lauded instead of mocked.