Wolves’ Towns racking up double-doubles at historic rate

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns may be young, but he's already one of the league's most versatile scorers.

Steve Dykes/AP

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns turned 21 on Tuesday. What might he give himself as a present when the Wolves host Charlotte?

Best guess: a double-double.

Since the 1985-86 season, Towns owns the third-most double-doubles for any player before their 21st birthday.

By itself, that’s a nice statistics. But a deeper look shows that Towns is a veritable double-double machine, recording one in nearly two-thirds of his NBA games thus far, which is the second-best rate since 1985-86 for pre-21-year-olds.

Player First season Double-doubles Games % of games
Dwight Howard 2004-05 105 184 57.0%
Andre Drummond 2012-13 66 141 46.8%
Karl-Anthony Towns 2015-16 57 91 62.6%
Anthony Davis 2012-13 50 119 42.0%
Shaquille O’Neal 1992-93 48 54 88.9%
LeBron James 2003-04 43 186 23.1%

Further, Towns has had 29 career games of 20+ points and 10+ rebounds, including four of his last six (averaging 25.3 points and 10.0 rebounds over that span).

Entering Tuesday’s action, Towns is ranked in the NBA’s top 20 in minutes per game, points per game, rebounds per game, field goals, offensive rebounds, offensive win shares and offensive box plus/minus. He’s also just outside the top 20 in player efficiency rating.

Of course, just because Towns is now 21 doesn’t mean the fun ends. Just ask Andrew Wiggins.

The 21-year-old Wiggins dropped 47 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, tied for the second-most points scored in a game by a player 21 or younger since the 2006-07 season.

Other notes:

— Minnesota’s average margin of victory (+26.0) is the highest in the NBA while its average margin of defeat (-8.8) is the eighth lowest.

— The Wolves have the best 3-point percentage in the league at 41.8 percent. Charlotte’s is ranked fourth in the league with an opponent 3-point percentage of 31.9 percent.

Statistics courtesy of STATS and the Minnesota Timberwolves