Lakers Nation Draft Prospect Watch: Karl-Anthony Towns
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Name:Karl-Anthony Towns
Position: Center
School: Kentucky
Height: 6’11 1/4
Weight: 250 lbs.
Wingspan: 7’3 1/4
Current Prospect Rank: No. 2 (Chad Ford), No. 3 (DraftExpress), No. 4 (NBADraft.net)
Projected Draft Position: Top-5
Player Comparison: Pau Gasol
Featured Game: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 vs. #5 Kansas (6 PM PT)

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Strengths:

Towns has all of the physical tools you could want in a center. Towns stands just under seven-feet tall with an excellent wingspan and very good athleticism for someone of his size. While he’s not an athletic freak like Andre Drummond or DeAndre Jordan, he can definitely rise above the rim especially when given a couple steps.

Offensively he has all the tools. He is very mobile, showing the ability to beat other bigs up the court consistently. He can finish at the rim with either hand and has a decent array of post moves. He can also step outside and knockdown the jumper, though he has to show more consistency in that area. He has shown solid ball handling for his size and is an underrated passer.

Defensively his size and length help him as a shot blocker where he shows great potential. He’s not the most physical defender, but is great on the boards, especially the offensive glass where he can be dominant at times. He has the ability to be an anchor down low thanks to his mobility and wingspan.

Weaknesses:

While he is a solid athlete, he is not explosive. He needs a step or two to really be able to get up. He is also not the most physical player, especially on defense. He can be pushed around at times, though he already looks like he has added some upper-body strength since enrolling at Kentucky.

Though he has the ability to knock down jumpers, it is still not as consistent as it could be and his form can fluctuate at times. He may also fall in love with his outside shot a little too much.

Defensively he can lack discipline at times. Like most young players, he can get himself out of position and sometimes chase blocks, leaving his own man open in the process. Things like that usually come with time though.

Fit With Lakers:

The Los Angeles Lakers are known for their legacy of big men and Towns could very well be the next in line. The team still lacks a true center and though Jordan Hill has done a solid job this year, Towns could be everything Hill is, and more.

Towns’ offensively ability is has some resemblances to Pau Gasol with his high basketball IQ, good ball-handling and passing, and ability to finish down low with either hand and step out to shoot jumpers.

Defensively he has the size and length to be the defensive anchor that the Lakers sorely need and though he lacks a little physicality, he will surely find his way as he continues to grow as a player.

Towns and the Kentucky Wildcats have a huge matchup with Kansas on Tuesday which will serve as an early showcase for Towns and a number of other top prospects. If he is able to shine on this stage, look out for him as he could be a big part of the Lakers rebuilding project, but only if they were to land a top-3 pick as Towns is unlikely to fall further than that.

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