Towns' rookie season is comparable to some NBA legends


Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James are three of the best players in NBA history, but even they can't say they started their careers as efficiently as Karl-Anthony Towns is.

At the All-Star break, the Timberwolves star rookie has put himself in a position to go down as one of the nine most efficient rookies in NBA history.

Check out the tweet the Wolves sent out Thursday morning.


A rookie hasn't finished with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) over 23 since Arvydas Sabonis did it in 1995-96. The only others prior to Sabonis are legends: Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Walt Bellamy, Michael Jordan and David Robinson.

With a PER of 23.1, Towns has a chance to become the ninth rookie in NBA history to do it.

Towns just turned 20 years old on Nov. 15. Pettit (22), Baylor (24), Chamberlain (23), Robertson (22), Bellamy (22), Jordan (21), Robinson (24) and Sabonis (31) were all older than Towns during their rookie seasons.

And all of the above, with the exception of Sabonis, are in the Hall of Fame. Here's each Hall of Fame-er's actual efficiency rating during their rookie seasons, according to Basketball Reference.

  • Pettit: 24.4
  • Baylor: 23.6
  • Chamberlain: 28.0
  • Robertson: 25.9
  • Bellamy: 26.3
  • Jordan: 25.8
  • Robinson: 26.3

This season alone, Towns' is 14th in the NBA in PER.

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