karl-anthony towns

Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns — who had one of the best seasons of all time by a 20-year-old — was the unanimous choice as NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday.

Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (20 years old) finished second, and Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (20) was third. Devin Booker (19), Jahlil Okafor (20), Justice Winslow (19), Emmanuel Mudiay (19), Myles Turner (19) and D’Angelo Russell (19) also received second- and third-place votes.

Rookies, developing players and any other players should be compared and evaluated based on their age. Not their draft class.

Towns, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, averaged 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds (eighth in the league) and shot 55.9 percent from 2-point range (10th). He had a 22.5 PER and 8.3 win shares.

Here are the top 10 seasons by a 20-year-old:

PTS REB AST PER
1. LeBron James, 2004-05 27.2 7.4 7.2 25.7
2. Shaquille O’Neal, 1992-93 23.4 13.9 1.9 22.9
3. Anthony Davis, 2013-14 20.8 10.0 1.6 26.5
4. Magic Johnson, 1979-80 18.0 7.7 7.3 20.6
5. Chris Paul, 2005-06 16.1 5.1 7.8 22.1
6. Kevin Durant, 2008-09 25.3 6.5 2.8 20.8
7. Elton Brand, 1999-00 20.1 10.0 1.9 20.6
8. Karl-Anthony Towns, 2015-16 18.3 10.4 2.0 22.5
9. Dwight Howard, 2005-06 15.8 12.5 1.5 19.3
10. Adrian Dantley, 1976-77 20.3 7.6 1.9 18.3

Towns has about an 85 percent chance of having a Hall of Fame career. He has replaced Anthony Davis as the game’s top prospect. Davis is the more established talent, but he has missed 68 games in four seasons. Towns is two years younger.

Here are (roughly) the top 45 players in the league, grouped by age:1

Age 20 | 1. Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves.

Age 21 | 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks.

Age 22 | 1. Anthony Davis, Pelicans.  2. Andre Drummond, Pistons.

Age 23 | 1. Victor Oladipo, Magic.  Also. Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers, who missed 29 games.

Players who are 24 and older are no longer prospects. They are established talent.

Age 24 | 1. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs.  2. Kris Middleton, Bucks.  3. C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers.  4. Derrick Favors, Jazz.

Age 25 | 1. Draymond Green, Warriors.  2. DeMarcus Cousins, Kings.  3. Paul George, Pacers.  4. Kemba Walker, Hornets.  5. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers.  6. John Wall, Wizards.  7. Gordon Hayward, Jazz.  8. Klay Thompson, Warriors.  9. Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves.  10. Reggie Jackson, Pistons.

Age 26 | 1. James Harden, Rockets.  2. Jimmy Butler, Bulls.  3. Isaiah Thomas, Celtics.  4. Demar DeRozan, Raptors.  5. Hassan Whiteside, Heat.  Also. Blake Griffin, Clippers, who missed 47 games.

Age 27 | 1. Stephen Curry, Warriors.  2. Russell Westbrook, Thunder.  3. Kevin Durant, Thunder.  4. DeAndre Jordan, Clippers.  5. Kevin Love, Cavaliers.  6. Brook Lopez, Nets.

Age 28 | 1. Mike Conley, Grizzlies, who missed 26 games.

Age 29 | 1. Kyle Lowry, Raptors.  2. Al Horford, Hawks.

Age 30 | 1. Chris Paul, Clippers.  2. Paul Millsap, Hawks.  3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs.

Age 31 | 1. LeBron James, Cavaliers.  2. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks.  3. Chris Bosh, Heat, who missed 29 games.

Most of LeBron’s dream team. Dwyane Wade was in their draft class, but he’s older than his super friends.

Age 32 | There were twelve 32-year-olds in the league, but none of note.

Age 33 | 14 players

Age 34 | 1. Dwyane Wade, Heat.

Players who are 35 and older can be considered “old.” They rarely have All-Star seasons.

Age 35 | Pau Gasol had one of the top 20 seasons of all time by a 35-year-old.

Age 36 | Three players

Age 37 | Dirk Nowitzki had one of the top 10 seasons by a 37-year-old.

PTS REB AST PER
1. Karl Malone, 2000-01 23.2 8.3 4.5 24.7
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1984-85 22.0 7.9 3.2 22.9
3. John Stockton, 1999-00 12.1 2.6 8.6 22.4
4. Tim Duncan, 2013-14 15.1 9.7 3.0 21.3
5. Robert Parish, 1990-91 14.9 10.6 0.8 20.6
6. Johnny Green, 1970-71 16.7 8.7 1.2 19.4
7. Dirk Nowitzki, 2015-16 18.3 6.5 1.8 19.0
8. Steve Nash, 2011-12 12.5 3.0 10.7 20.3
9. Dominique Wilkins, 1996-97 18.2 6.4 1.9 19.6
10. Patrick Ewing, 1999-00 15.0 9.7 0.9 16.9

Dirk averaged 18.3 points with a 55.5 true shooting percentage.

Kobe (also 37) averaged 17.6 points with a 46.9 true shooting percentage.

Age 38 | Five players

Age 39 | Tim Duncan had one of the top 10 seasons by a 39-year-old.

PTS REB AST PER
1. Karl Malone, 2002-03 20.6 7.8 4.7 21.7
2. Michael Jordan, 2002-03 20.0 6.1 3.8 19.3
3. John Stockton, 2001-02 13.4 3.2 8.2 21.9
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1986-87 17.5 6.7 2.6 17.9
5. Robert Parish, 1992-93 12.6 9.4 0.8 19.2
6. Reggie Miller, 2004-05 14.8 2.4 2.2 16.6
7. Tim Duncan, 2015-16 8.6 7.3 2.7 16.9
8. Jason Kidd, 2012-13 6.0 4.3 3.3 13.5
9. Grant Hill, 2011-12 10.2 3.5 2.2 12.3
10. Hakeem Olajuwon, 2001-02 7.1 6.0 1.1 14.4

Age 40 | No players

  1. A player’s age in a given season is his age on Feb. 1, per Basketball-Reference.