The Curious Case of Karl-Anthony Towns

When you have the number 1 pick in the NBA draft, a draft that includes two players that A LOT of teams desire (Ayton & Doncic), rumors will swirl. All 29 teams will await your move, anticipating your mistake and profit from your misfortunes. This frenzy before the draft that is still two months away is something that I don’t believe most Suns fans anticipated. Only days after the draft lottery picks were announced, fans have been debating all over social media about who the Phoenix Suns should take with their first #1 pick in franchise history, Deandre Ayton or Luka Doncic. But then something interesting happened.

At this point, Suns fans are getting even more divided. What should they believe, how should they feel?! Do you choose the young freak with a high ceiling? What about the young Euro phenom? Or do you go with the up and comer with 2 years of NBA experience under his belt? Devin Booker seems to have certainly expressed his opinion on the matter…

So now you have fans who are obligated to side with Booker, in part because they want the young cornerstone to be happy to ensure his longevity with the team. I must admit, this is a big factor in my own opinions of the Suns choices as well. There is no longer an Ayton versus Doncic debate. It is now an Ayton versus KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) debate. So let’s talk about Towns.

Contract

Karl-Anthony Towns is under contract until 2020 with a restricted free agent option in 2019. Devin Booker’s contract has the same stipulations as they were drafted in the same year.

Meaning: Both men can get PAID with a big time extension or deal. Do the Suns have the cap space to sign BOTH Booker and Towns, while building a contending team around them?

Trade

I can’t imagine that the Timberwolves would just give the Phoenix Suns Karl-Athony Towns for the #1 pick. Deandre Ayton is a very similar comparrison to Towns, but he is not proven like KAT has been in the NBA. We would have to package more picks and players. You would have to assume that Bender, Chriss, and maybe even Knight or Chandler would be on their way out.

Meaning: Another high price (your picks) before the contract extension even happens. Are the Suns really ready to jumpstart the end of the “Timeline” for that price?

Stats

Karl-Anthony Towns Deandre Ayton
35.6 MPG 33.5 MPG
.545 FG% .612 FG%
.421 3P% .343 3P%
.858 FT% .733 FT%
12.3 RPG 11.6 RPG
2.4 AST 1.6 AST
1.4 BLK 1.9 BLK
1.9 TO 2.0 TO
21.3 PPG 20.1 PPG

Meaning: Karl-Anthony Towns has the edge, with two years NBA experience. Do you think Ayton has the ability to continually improve his game?

My Verdict

I am going to stick by my choice. I would still rather have the higher ceiling of Deandre Ayton over having to pay Karl-Anthony Towns AND Devin Booker at the same time. If Ryan McDonough can pay them both and have a deep, competitive roster, I’ll still support my team 100%. Karl-Anthony Towns is a great player, I’m holding nothing against him. Small market teams just tend to get hamstrung by taking on multiple max deals at the same time. You know, like when the Suns had to pay Eric Bledsoe AND Brandon Knight $70 million each. The real hope here is that if the Suns are competing deep in the playoffs, Booker will want to stay, regardless of who the big man is.

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