Photo: NBC Sports

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and company listed off the best players to start a franchise around:

Max Kellerman, a co-host of ESPN talk show First Take, says building a franchise around Kevin Durant or LeBron James (ranks 13th) would be ridiculous:

“They should be lower on the list. In fact, it’s ridiculous to put KD or LeBron on this list at all. They don’t belong on this list. To start a franchise, you don’t even realize LeBron turn 112 years this year. You want 112-year-old [to lead your franchise]?

If we’re talking about skills, then LeBron is either 1 or 2 right now, but we’re not talking about ‘who do I want for this upcoming season?’ We’re saying to start a franchise based on a four-year max. Now KD is considerably younger, if KD wasn’t hurt, he’d be high on the list; he’s coming off an Achilles. …

Kevin Durant is trying to do something that has almost never been done before. Even Dominique Wilkins wasn’t quite the same, so KD doesn’t have to be exactly the same to still be an All-Star player but at 30 years old, he likely won’t play at all this year and probably won’t be back to being whatever he can be which is probably only gonna be, if he’s lucky, 80 percent of what he was once until the following season. So why would I start a franchise with a guy who’s only gonna give me and lead your whole production two years from now? LeBron no, KD no,” Kellerman said.

This past season, James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Meanwhile, Durant – 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 blocks per contest.