Can Karl-Anthony Towns & Andrew Wiggins become the next Kobe & Shaq?

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The Minnesota Timberwolves certainly have a fine, young roster on their hands.

With the likes of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, the Western Conference have a vibrant and energetic core to work with for years to come and with Tom Thibideau at the helm, that only serves to make this crop of starlets that much more intriguing.

However, if you've read this far you will be wondering: What about Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins? Those guys are in a class of their own.

As two former number one overall picks, make no mistake, these are two guys that aren't rubbing shoulders with Anthony Bennett and Greg Oden - they justify the hype.

Wiggins was actually picked first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but with LeBron James returning home, what use did the Wine and Gold have for a young small forward? They moved him to Minnesota in return for their All-Star power forward Kevin Love, and it seems to be working out for both parties.

In the early going, Love has a championship ring and Wiggins is growing into an elite scorer with every passing week. He is blitzing his career average of 19.3 points a night so far this term with 27.3 through eleven games.

He has had standout performances against the L.A. Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets where he recorded 47, 35 and 36 points respectively.

However, Towns looks likely to be the transcendent star of the pair, and any other young star in the league right now for that matter.

KAT has that - what we like to call - Anthony Davis potential. In saying that, we mean he can go on to be the very best player in the entire league. That is not a far-fetched shout to make at all.

In his debut season in the NBA, where he unanimously picked up the Rookie of the Year award, Towns averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game - the best rookie season by a big man since a certain Tim Duncan.

He led all qualified rookies in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage (.542) and double-doubles (51). Talent like that isn't fleeting, nor is it confined to breath in certain systems. He's a genuine game-changer.

But with Wiggins by his side as an ultra-efficient scorer, how far can the duo go?

Kobe & Shaq

The dynamic, but often dysfunctional duo might just be the most potent tandem in NBA history.

As a pair, they combined to win three titles in a row at the turn of the century. Shaq won the MVP award in 2000 at the prime age of 28 while Kobe averaged up to 28.5 points a night during those three triumphant years.

Shaq is now enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame while Kobe went on to prove he was a legendary player in his own right with two more NBA titles, two scoring titles and one MVP award long after Shaq had departed the Staples Center.

One could argue, however, that they were never better than when they were together. And, had they been able to co-exist a la Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, they could have dominated for a decade.

Do Towns and Wiggins have that chance? The dynamic is certainly reminiscent, if not similar, and both men are destined to be All-Star calibre players.

The cogs that are put around them will determine exactly how much success they can have, but as they grow together, they are going to become a force that no team in the NBA can tame.

Shaquille O'Neal
Minnesota Timberwolves
Northwest Division
Western Conference
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Karl-Anthony Towns
Kobe Bryant
Andrew Wiggins

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