Kevin Durant is widely accepted as at least a top 3 player in the NBA currently, and there are many who have made the argument that he is in fact the best player in the NBA. Kevin Durant had an amazing bounceback season from his Achilles injury this year, and while he didn't end up winning a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, he did end up leading Team USA to the gold medal at the Olympics.
While Durant may be the best player in the world in a lot of people's eyes, that doesn't mean that he is a player you'd necessarily take to start a franchise and build for the future, as Durant is almost 33. If asked about starting a franchise specifically, many people would likely pick someone younger, such as Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo. When speaking to Antonio Daniels, NBA analyst Rick Kamla suggested that even when given those constraints, he would pick Kevin Durant as his superstar to begin a new team going into the 2021-22 season.
My answer AD: which player I would pick to start a franchise. Right now, heading into the 2021-22 season, is Kevin Durant.
I thought going into this that I might go with a younger guy, a Luka, a Zion somebody like that. But I'm like "Wait a minute". Kevin Durant has 6 more prime seasons left. 6. Not 3 or 2. He's about to turn 33.
My historical research has shown me and proven to me... Age 39 all bets are off. But these all time great guys, the Garnetts, the Reggie Millers, the Michael Jordans, the Kevin Durants. Through age 38, I have found that there is not a major dropoff. Age 39 is when it gets weird for a lot of these guys.
If that continues for Kevin Durant, that's 6 prime seasons left. He's the best player on the planet right now, the most unstoppable player on the planet right now.
There is no question that Kevin Durant has shown that he can still play at a very high level, and his shot creation and jump shot should allow him to continue to be a superstar even as his athleticism wanes with time.
Kamla's perspective makes sense, and Kevin Durant is definitely an amazing choice for a franchise centerpiece. Even if Kevin Durant is getting older, he's still one of the best players in the league, and his production remains absolutely elite.