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NBA GMs tab Karl-Anthony Towns as best center, franchise cornerstone

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

NBA general managers are really, really high on Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Minnesota Timberwolves big man finished with the most votes in the GM survey for the following categories:

  • Player they'd sign if they were starting a new franchise (29 percent)
  • Best center in the NBA (28 percent)
  • Player most likely to have a breakout season in 2017-18 (21 percent)

Towns also finished fourth in votes for the league's best power forward, despite only slotting in at the four-spot for just 2 percent of his minutes in his rookie year and playing exclusively at the five as a sophomore.

The 21-year-old 7-footer was the top pick for execs to build their team around in the 2016-17 edition, as well. After averaging 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 blocks last season, he remains the most coveted franchise cornerstone.

Towns' team also received a lot of love in the annual survey. The Timberwolves finished third in votes (14 percent) for the team that made the best moves this offseason, after acquiring All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson, and Jeff Teague. The trade for Butler ranks second (17 percent) in moves that are expected to make the biggest impact.

On a related note, Minnesota was No. 1 in votes for the team that's poised to improve the most this season (69 percent). The T-Wolves finished first in the category last year, too, with 57 percent of the tally, but they under-performed (especially defensively) and finished with a 31-51 record en route to their 13th straight year of missing the playoffs.

Related: 4 teams poised to end playoff droughts in 2018

From the looks of the survey results, many are optimistic about the club's chances of finally ending the drought this season.

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