And-Ones: Towns, Magic, Raptors

Karl-Anthony Towns has been able to contribute right away for the Wolves and he credits his experience playing for Kentucky for his ability to succeed, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders writes.

“It feels like I already played a full professional season having been at the University of Kentucky,” Towns told Brigham. “Put that with the amount of away games we had there and we were also never home, so I transitioned well into the NBA with the travel and everything. It just has come easier for me than for a lot of people.”

New additions Andre Miller and Tayshaun Prince as well as Kevin Garnett, who came back to Minnesota via trade at last season’s deadline, have also helped Towns avoid a learning curve.

“When you talk about a mentor like KG, for me, [he] just teaches me a lot of the knowledge that he possesses,” Towns said. “That’s a lot more valuable than any of the shots that I might shoot in the gym. His experience, his talent, his ability to do things that so many people in this game have never figured out how to do, having him here to teach me those things is a blessing.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Magic are unlikely to seek out trades or make major changes this year, as they will use this season to figure out which players are long-term pieces, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes. Kyler examines the roster and believes the team is still one major piece away from becoming a real contender.
  • Jonas Valanciunas will forgo surgery on his left hand and will instead opt for rehab, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports.  The center fractured his hand during Friday’s win over the Lakers and he will miss an extended period of time, though no timeline for his return has been given.
  • The Raptors have recalled Lucas Nogueira from the Raptors 905, the team’s D-League affiliate, according to a team press release. The center played four games during his assignment, averaging 9.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
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