Which player would you start a franchise with? It's one of the classic NBA debates, and it always ignites a passionate discussion across different fan bases.
The league is in a fortunate position in 2020 where it has so many great young players, and three of the best are Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson.
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The Twitter account "Hoop Central" recently posted a photo of these three players and asked its followers to pick the player they'd most want to start a franchise with. Former Boston Celtics center and 2008 NBA champion Kendrick Perkins weighed in, and unsurprisingly, he's taking Tatum.
Give me that 6'9 Prolific Scorer that got Celtics across his chest!!! https://t.co/BPlmiuz1KP— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) June 17, 2020
With all due respect to Simmons, who's an extraordinary player, this debate really comes down to Tatum and Williamson.
Williamson has lived up to the hype since coming back from injury and making his pro debut in January. The former Duke star is averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while also shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor in only 29.7 minutes per game. Tatum is posting 23.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 34.6 minutes per game. Tatum is a better outside shooter and a stronger defensive player than Williamson. The Celtics star is just a better all-around player right now as a two-way wing. Williamson has a higher ceiling, and based on what he's shown in just 19 games, there's no question the Pelicans star has the potential to be an all-time great. The concern with Williamson is his durability -- can he stay healthy consistently?
Really, you can't go wrong with either player. Both of them have superstar talent.
Perkins isn't the only national voice giving Tatum the props he deserves for taking his game to a higher level this season. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith recently said on "First Take" that we shouldn't forget Tatum when discussing which of the league's young stars have the potential to be the best player in the world someday.
Tatum will have a great opportunity to win over more supporters when the league resumes its 2019-20 season in Florida next month. The Celtics will be among the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, and they probably will go as far as Tatum takes them.
Celtics fans will appreciate Kendrick Perkins' take on this classic NBA debate originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston