Quote by Nba preview – rookie & sophomore (Northwest)
Sophomore: Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Nemanja Bjelica
Rookie: Kris Dunn
Karl-Anthony Towns rookie season by the numbers: 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.7 blocks, 34%(!) three-point shooting, 55.5% True Shooting percentage, 8.3 Win Shares, 0.151 Win Shares per 48 minutes (league average is 0.1), and Rookie of the Year after collecting all of the rookie of the month award. Many things could be said about Towns and his season but we’ll stick to two: one, Towns will be a transcendent player, arguably he already is, a perennial All-Star and potentially a future Hall of Famer; two, it is early to talk about titles and parades, the coaching change, together with general growth from Towns, Wiggins and the other players, might get the team to the playoff, but it seems highly unlikely as of now. And Towns might need one more year before dominating the league.
— NBA (@NBA) 11 ottobre 2016
Bjelica had a strong start to his season, but an injury forced him to miss a few weeks and when he came back he was not the same. His game seems to be a perfect fit beside Towns, but he is likely to come off the bench. Also, age is not on his side: he is 28 now, while the core of the team is 23 and under, but if he will earn the trust of coach Tom Thibodeau he will become an important piece of the rotation, unlocking a potential five-out lineup that can still feature two 7 footers.
Tyus Jones was never a factor in his first season. He spent the first half in the D-League and only played when Andre Miller was traded, coming off the bench. It is unlikely he will get playing time this season, considering the abundance of young guards at roster and the addition of number 5 pick Kris Dunn. The ex Providence will be the first PG off the bench, at least early on, despite some rumors suggesting he might be the starter from day one. His work ethic will get him to learn Thibodeau’s defense quickly and, if he will improve on his outside shooting, he will likely be the PG of the future for the Twolves. Until then, he will be free to terrorize opposing second units. It will be interesting to see if coach Thibodeau will try to play Rubio and Dunn in the same lineup, with Dunn playing off the ball, a role he is more suited for than Rubio, and that would open up interesting combinations on defense. Minnesota is expected to collect many more wins than last season, and Dunn will have to prove he is a starter for a playoff team and a potential contender. Not that there are any questions about his talent or work ethic.