Could Jahlil Okafor Win Rookie Of The Year?

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Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Robert Upshaw (12) is blocked out by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Karl-Anthony Towns

Although the Timberwolves didn’t have the first pick in the draft last year, they still acquired him from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade that brought Wiggins to their team. This year, they have the first pick yet again, and they’ve got a young roster being built, similar to the Sixers in many ways.

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Towns is also coming off of just a freshman year in college, and is quite young. He was a part of the extremely talented Kentucky team, where he averaged 10.3 points per game and shot from the field at 56.6%.

In Kentucky, Towns was just one part of a very deep roster, and hasn’t really had the opportunity to show he’s a leader. This worries me as he enters the NBA and is given a role where he is supposed to be one of the leaders on the team.

Towns has a very athletic build, which will help him get physical with defenders as he attempts to bring himself closer to the hoop. He has a decent mid-range shot, as well as a great post game. He’s a threatening weapon as he gets closer and closer to the hoop.

The number one pick played well in Summer League, averaging over 12 points per game as well as 7 assists. What we saw from Towns in the Summer League games certainly looks promising to us, but Okafor also played very well throughout the summer.

Judging from this video Draft Express put together, the two have tremendous respect for each other. Draft Express points out that Towns does a pretty good job in this game from 2014 shutting down Okafor. Although shutting Okafor down when the two teams play each other won’t win Towns rookie of the year, it’s still a fun matchup to look forward to.

Does Towns Pose A Threat To ROY?

Yes, he does. Towns is the number one overall pick this year, so of course all eyes will be on him, looking to see if he can live up to the expectations that come along with that. The anticipation is high surrounding him, and if he can seize the moment and play well, I’m expecting him to win rookie of the year.

Still, I believe Okafor has a good shot at the award. The rest of the players mentioned certainly could win it if they have great years, but at this point, I believe Towns is the biggest threat to Jahlil getting it. These two are neck-and-neck right now in my head as the clear-cut favorites to get the award. We’ll still have to see how the regular season plays out, though.

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