Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been named as the unanimous 2015-16 Rookie of the Year, the NBA has today announced.
He becomes the fifth unanimous winner of the award joining Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson.
Towns is also the second consecutive Timberwolves player to pick up the Eddie Gottlieb trophy after Andrew Wiggins picked up the accolade last year.
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Minnesota is the first team with back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners since the Buffalo Braves in 1972-73 (Bob McAdoo) and 1973-74 (Ernie DiGregorio).
The center received all 130 first-place votes and 650 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
The number one overall pick from Kentucky had a hugely impressive first campaign in the league averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game - the best rookie season by a big man since Tim Duncan.
He led all qualified rookies in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage (.542), double-doubles (51) and minutes (32.0 mpg), and was second in blocks (1.68 bpg) and third in free throw percentage (.811).
He was the only rookie, and one of just 18 players, to start all 82 games this season. Among all players, Towns finished eighth in rebounding and shooting percentage, 10th in blocks and second in point/rebound double-doubles.
He was also named as the Western Conference rookie of the month in every month in which the award was handed out.
The 20-year-old helped the Timberwolves win 13 more games than in the previous campaign and is well on course to becoming a franchise player in Minneapolis.
With a talented young core of Towns, Wiggins, and Zach LaVine, along with the appointment of Tim Thibodeau as head coach, there is a huge sense of optimism in the city that a change of fortunes is imminent and a return to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years is finally achievable.
Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks, who also had an excellent rookie season, finished as the runner-up to Towns with 363 points and was his closest challenger for the honour, but in truth, it was never in any doubt. The Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic was third with 59 points.
"It’s an honor to be named Rookie of the Year by the media," Towns said. "I owe a lot to our coaches and my teammates for their support throughout the year. I intend to work hard on my craft to improve my game for next season and help our team challenge for a playoff spot."
Throughout the season KAT was far and away the best player from his rookie class and displayed a maturity and skill-set beyond his years.
His all-around game is what makes him such a special talent. Despite his size, Towns can do almost everything on both ends of the court.
He can post-up, shoot from mid-range, behind the arc and the free-throw line as well as rebound, block shots and defend which makes him the perfect big man in today's era.