The 2015 NBA Draft has been highlighted by two players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis. The two have lit up the NBA throughout the season, and both are primed to become extraordinary talents for their respective teams.
Towns and Porzingis are on two opposite ends of the basketball spectrum. One is settled in the in the frigid state of Minnesota, while the other takes residence in the basketball mecca of New York City.
One thing Porzingis and Towns have in common is their teams, the Timberwolves and Knicks, are far away from competing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, both organizations can take solace in the fact that they have two future superstars to build around.
Porzingis joined a Knicks team that was reeling from one of the worst seasons in their storied history.
Nobody knew what to expect from an almost unknown international prospect. Knicks fans voiced their displeasure with the teams selection of Porzingis on draft night, and he was seemingly a dead man walking in the Big Apple.
As things turned out, it seems as if Phil Jackson and the rest of the Knicks front office were right all along. Porzingis has not only overtaken Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks most popular player, but he is one of the league’s most marketable, as Porzingis has the fourth-highest selling jersey in the NBA.
Porzingis isn’t just some fly-by-night rookie sensation. He has put up some impressive numbers for the Knicks, with averages of 13.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and a .426 shooting percentage. Many feel Porzingis isn’t a finished product, and there could be quite a bit of untapped potential in the Latvian superstar.
Unlike Porzingis, Towns was pretty much a sure thing going into the 2015 NBA Draft. He was the unquestioned top overall pick, and the Timberwolves wasted no time in taking him first overall.
Towns has flourished with his new team, and has left little doubt as to why he was the top overall selection. The seven-footer has turned into one of the NBA’s most dominant centers, averaging 17.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He does this all while shooting a very respectable .544 from the field.
With both Towns and Porzingis taking on huge roles in their first NBA seasons, the question of who should be named Rookie of the Year becomes a hot topic of conversation.
Towns and Porzingis are both three time Rookie of the Month winners in their respective conferences. Towns has a distinct advantage in points and rebounds. However, Porzingis gets a lot more publicity because he plays in New York City.
Playing in such a media-driven market such as the Big Apple has given Porzingis a bigger stage to showcase his talents. And while he might not put up the numbers Towns does, the star power Porzingis possess makes it almost impossible to not garner him a few votes.
Could it be possible that we have joint Rookie of the Year winners for the first time since the 1999-00 season? It’s a distinct possibility. One thing is certain when it comes to Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns, both are transforming into NBA superstars, and that’s a win for everyone.