Rookie of the Year: Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

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Don't let contrarian voters convince you of anything different as awards season reaches its climax in the next few days.

We like easy‎.

You won't hear any howls of protest from media grunts like me that Karl-Anthony Towns has made a wire-to-wire laugher of the 2015-16 ROY race. Not with so many challenging choices elsewhere, whether we're arguing with the voices in our own heads about Coach of the Year or the All-NBA teams or straining -- just as we were a year ago -- to choose between Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard for Defensive Player of the Year.

So, yes, we're enjoying this ROY layup.

All that's left to do now, as with Steph Curry in the MVP "race,"‎ is to sit back and see whether Towns wins the trophy unanimously. As he should.

‎I wouldn't expect much intrigue with the runner-up spot on the ballot, either, because New York's Kristaps Porzingis, for all his late-season health woes, should still have a strong hold on the No. 2 slot.

Any semblance of drama, if you insist on searching for it, is restricted to the third berth on the ballot, which we awarded to Denver's Nikola Jokic over Indiana's Myles Turner and Phoenix's Devin Booker because, well, Jokic sports a rather healthy PER of his own (21.27) a la Towns after starting the season in the shadow of a rookie on his own team in Emmanuel Mudiay.

This rookie class, truth be told, didn't really deliver on what it teased early, but thankfully Towns is the truth. He has 18 games this season with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds; all other rookies have combined to do that eight times. And he's merely the 26th rookie in league history to average 18 PPG and 10 RPG in his maiden season ... with only two of the previous 25 -- Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan -- recording a higher shooting percentage from the field than Towns' .540.

P.S. -- Towns is also 28-for-80 (35 percent) on 3-pointers as a rookie, which exceeds mentor Kevin Garnett's total of makes from deep over KG's first four seasons combined. The more you dig into KAT's numbers and skills ... the scarier it gets for everyone else.

Stein's official ballot: 1. Towns; 2. Porzingis; 3. Jokic

October prediction: Emmanuel Mudiay.