Although big men struggle to get their due respect in the hobby, Karl-Anthony Towns is quietly building his profile for collectors. One of the standouts from the 2015-16 NBA Draft class, Karl-Anthony Towns rookie cards are gaining traction and he closed out his first season as the unanimous Rookie of the Year.
Listed at seven feet, Karl-Anthony Towns first gained mainstream exposure with the Big Blue Nation following a decorated high school career that saw him named the 2014 Gatorade National Player of the Year. While at the University of Kentucky, Towns further boosted his NBA prospects, especially based on his play in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. He only spent one season in Lexington before making the jump but did so as the number one overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Towns joined Andrew Wiggins — the first pick in 2014 and 2014-15 ROY — to help build a youthful roster with tremendous potential. Towns has excelled early in his career, winning all six Western Conference Rookie of the Month Awards in his first year. Fellow rookie Kristaps Prorzingis matched him early with three Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Awards of his own, but KAT pulled away in the second half of the season. This all culminated with a unanimous selection as the 2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Collectors can find official Karl-Anthony Towns rookie cards in 2015-16 basketball products. It is important to note that Towns is one of several Panini exclusives from the 2015 class. This means that Panini is the only place to find his cards for now. He also had some early Panini promo cards from the 2015 NSCC and Black Friday packs.
The following guide compiles all the Karl-Anthony Towns rookies cards in one place. While his many inserts and autographs are also popular, only official rookies are featured in the main listing guide. Other notable cards are highlighted below that. The guide will be updated throughout the season as more products are released.
Karl-Anthony Towns Rookie Card Guide
Click on the images or listings to shop for cards on eBay. Linked sets in the descriptions go directly to product profiles.
The relic-heavy 2015-16 Absolute Memorabilia sticks with a basic rookie option for Towns that is heavy on foil. Limited to 999 copies, there are also Spectrum Gold (#/10) and Black (1/1) parallels. The popular Tools of the Trade insert gives collectors signed KAT cards to chase.
They don't get more simple than this. 2015-16 Complete is a low-end product with no frills and that is what this rookie card for Towns delivers.
2015-16 Panini Court Kings Karl-Anthony Towns RC #101, #134, #167 (#/299), #200 (#/175), #233 (#/75), #266 (#/10)
Vivid colors and artistic designs treat collectors to a whimsical take on Karl-Anthony Towns rookie cards. There are actually six different cards for Towns in 2015-16 Court Kings and each features a different look and rarity. While most present large or moderate print runs, completists may have trouble with the final card (#266), which is limited to just ten copies.
2015-16 Panini Gold Standard Karl-Anthony Towns RC #219 Autographed Jersey #/199, #257 Dual Relic Auto #/149, #288 Triple Relic Auto #/99
2015-16 Gold Standard offers a trio of Karl-Anthony Towns rookie autographs that are, understandably, shimmering with a gold design. On-card autographs give it even more appeal. Collectors can find increasing relic pieces along with a decreasing print run among the three choices that all feature a horizontal layout and different image of Towns.
While the rookie card itself is fairly simple, Panini delivers on the 2015-16 Limited tagline thanks to a base print run of just 80 copies that is joined by Silver (#/49), Gold (#/25) and Platinum (1/1). Towns is also included in the Rookie Jersey Autographs insert set that is numbered to 99.
Without a traditional base set, 2015-16 Luxe has several KAT cards that could lay claim to the rookie title. The Rookie Memorabilia Autograph is the most likely option with an on-card card autograph and jersey swatch. There are also a few others that are popular with collectors, including the framed cards.
Arguably the ultimate rookie card for Karl-Anthony Towns, 2015-16 National Treasures is high-end all the way with a print run of just 99 and a premium design. The on-card autograph and large patch further set it apart from most of his other first-year cards.
Another basic rookie option, 2015-16 Hoops has a more quality look with the foil and glossy finish that looks better than the budget pricing indicates. Hoops remains the favorite for low-end collectors and offers a very inexpensive rookie option for Towns.
A larger image of Towns coupled with the diagonal striping and oversized T-Wolves logo gives the Prestige rookie a distinct look. Collectors should be aware that 2015-16 Prestige is exclusive to Target. There is also a popular on-card autograph for Towns in the release with a print run of 299.
While the Prizm-ization has chopped Towns off at the knees, it is a little more odd that one leg has been trimmed to his shorts while the other has not. Despite this floating illusion, and as long as legs are not a requirement, 2015-16 Prizm is good low-end option with plenty of colorful parallels. While it does feature college gear, Prizm also offers a pretty impressive autograph option for Towns.
Easily the wildest rookie design for Karl-Anthony Towns, 2015-16 Revolution taps into the 1990s nostalgia with a swirled background and several tiers of parallels. There is also an on-card rookie autograph for Towns in the product.
2015-16 Select has three separate designs in the main base set which ultimately means three different Karl-Anthony Towns rookie cards. While they do feature a different look, all three incorporate gold, black and foil into one ornate design. The rarest of the bunch is Courtside, which is shown last with the Silver parallel version that resembles a Superfractor.
Another release with multiple rookie options in the main set, 2015-16 Threads is only found at Target locations. Issued in specific formats, collectors can find base rookies and Leather rookies in Premium boxes, Wood rookies in blaster boxes, and Micro-Etch rookies in Gravity packs.
Somewhat similar to Prizm and Select, 2015-16 Totally Certified also relies on the silver foil but incorporates a little more detail into the design. While the large name headline is expected, the prominent placement for the jersey number is not. Again like Prizm, colored parallels offer more rarity. A plus, however, is that his legs were left intact.
Other Key Karl-Anthony Towns Basketball Cards
As the college version of the popular Contenders brand, many are likely familiar with the concept. Kentucky Wildcats supporters will likely be extra interested in 2015-16 Contenders Draft Picks but the stickers are disappointing. Towns has two versions but Panini never revealed which was the short print so collectors are left to guess. It does appear, based on what has shown up on eBay, that the version on the left (both hands on ball) is the more common of the two.
Another college card for Karl-Anthony Towns, this is part of the high-end multi-sport Immaculate Collection release. There are several different versions but his RPA is the top option for most. Each of the cards is very limited, so these might a bit tougher to locate as time passes.
Similarly, the National Treasures brand is also extended to college and Towns is included with a horizontal design. Limited to 99, the premium multi-sport card features an on-card signature and large jersey patch.