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Franchise Players in The NBA

Updated on February 23, 2018

Karl-Anthony Towns


When he was selected first overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, KAT was supposed to produce immediately. Although, he has only played 2 and a half years in the NBA Karl has put up some impressive numbers. As a 7 feet tall center from the University of Kentucky, Karl has averaged: 21.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.5 blocks, with 54.6 percent field goal shooting. He has also established himself has an above average shooter as well, with a career three point percentage of 383.3 percent, and this year he has shot 42.1 percent from three. For a big man he can shoot free throws at an elite tear, while most big men focus purely on their inside game and nothing else, Karl focuses on every aspect of basketball, excluding passing. He has shot 83.3 percent from the line for his career, and 85.8 percent this year. (The 2017-2018 season) KAT has shown flashes of becoming one of the greatest big men to ever play the game, while in his rookie year he averaged: 18.3 points, 1.7 blocks, 0.7 steals, 10.5 rebounds, and a great 54.2 percent field goal shooting, plus a solid 34.1 percent from three. He took home rookie of the year as well.

But in his sophomore year in the NBA he showed his true potential, with averages of 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game, leading the Timberwolves in both points per game and rebounds per game. He didn't make the all-star game his second or first year.

While this year he did make the all-star game with averages of: 20.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks.

While Karl is obviously one of the Timberwolves big 3, Jimmy Butler has been leading the way, but the reason why Jimmy B isn't a Franchise player is that he is 29, and Karl is only 22. Andrew Wiggins is another great player but doesn't put up as much of an impact to be a franchise player, but the Timberwolves are arguably contenders now but the Timberwolves are primed for a championship run once the Warriors dynasty is over, but so are the Pistons, which brings us to our next players.

Andre Drummond

Despite a mediocre rookie season with only 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, Andre Drummond has gotten better every single year he has been in the NBA. He has led the league in rebounds twice and he only 24 years old.

He was picked 9th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2012 NBA Draft, out of University of Connecticut. In his 5 year career he has been the Detroit Pistons number one option, but no matter how good you are if you are as young as 24 years old no one can't be put in that position. (Unless your MJ) He has career stats of: 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, as well as a great 54.6 percent field goal percentage. But this year he really stepped it up, he has been averaging 15.1 points, 15.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.6 blocks, and 3.6 assists. The way he bumped up his assist numbers shows he has a true work ethic that will make sure he only gets better for years to come. He has a career PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 21.9, but this year it's 23.8. He is currently tied for 15th highest PER this year with Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo. He is currently leading the league in defensive win shares with 4.1. Andre Drummond is only 24 years old and he is already making a huge impact on a now true playoff contender, maybe not a championship team however.

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin, when he isn't injured, has showed to be a top 5 player in the NBA. He can be a number one option and is easily the best power forward in the league right now. In Blake's 8 year career he has averaged 21.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and a steal, his PER is an outstanding 22.6. He is a five time all-star and was snubbed this year. He is also a 4 time All-NBA selection, he can lead a team easily, right now he isn't so happy being with the Pistons understandably so. He has another super star in Andre Drummond with him, he can pass the ball exceptionally well for a big man with 4.3 assists for his career average and when you need a clutch last second shot he can and will deliver.

He was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the first overall pick out of the University of Oklahoma, he won Player of the Year his sophomore year of college when he averaged 22.7 points, 1.1 steals, 1 block, 14.4 rebounds, and shot almost 66 percent from the field. His per 48 minutes stats in college are some of the best anyone has ever seen out of a sophomore if not the best, with 27.7 points, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 steals, and an unbelievable 17.3 rebounds. He is easily one of the greatest players in Oklahoma basketball history and he only carried that on into the NBA.

LeBron James

LeBron is the best player in the NBA right now and, purely because of his age, I debated on not putting him on this list. But with career stats of 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 1.6 steals he is one of the greatest players of all time and the best right now. LeBron is a 4 time MVP, 3 time NBA Champion, 14 time All-Star, and a 13 time All-NBA Selection, he has a career PER of 27.6 the second highest in NBA History beaten by only Michael Jordan's outstanding 27.91 rating. LeBron is a one time scoring champion as well, he carried the Cavs in his first years in the NBA, he can make a shot whenever you need him to, he can score on every single aspect of the game, and he is a lockdown defender. As a 19 year old rookie he averaged 21 points per game, the youngest to ever do so. He is also the youngest player to ever reach 30,000 points scored. All around, LeBron can lead a time to a championship and can carry a team to a championship. LeBron is the second greatest player of all time, easily.

LeBron was drafted first overall straight out of high school by his home team the Cleveland Cavliers, he played a total of 7 years with the Cavs until he left for free agency and signed with the Miami Heat. He won 2 NBA Championships with the Heat while he made it to 4. Him and Dwayne Wade along with Chris Bosh were a deadly big three and were feared among the NBA. LeBron is without a doubt the greatest player in Cleveland Sports history and possibly the greatest player the Miami Heat have ever had, although I would say Dwayne Wade because he played there longer.

Demarcus Cousins

Demarcus Cousins is probably the best center in the NBA today, he was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 2010 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. In his 8 year long career Demarcus has averaged a grand total of 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks. Demarcus Cousin's 5.4 assists per game average is one of the highest for a center in NBA history, and the fact that he is only 27 shows how he will only get better. He is a 4 time NBA All-star and 2 time All-NBA Selection. Yet with all this he has never made the playoffs, with one of the worst ran franchises in all of sports in the Sacramento Kings having him for almost all of his career until they traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016-2017 NBA Trade deadline. Cousins has been known as a hot head in the NBA, but as I said he played for one of the worst run franchises in the entire NBA. Now, with the Pelicans, he has slowed down and has shown that he can be a player you can always rely on.

Demarcus is easily a franchise player and someone any team can build around. Him and Anthony Davis are one of the greatest big men duos of all time.

This year Demarcus is out with an Achilles injury and is out for the season, sadly. But players like Demarcus Cousins only come back from injuries like these, he's a huge player and isn't undersized by any means, he stands at 6 foot 11 inches and 270 pounds of pure muscle. This isn't Derrick Rose we're talking about here, it's Demarcus Cousins.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis, in my opinion, is the best defensive player in the NBA and the best power forward. In his 6 year long NBA career Anthony Davis has averaged an outstanding 23 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.3 blocks. He has led the league in blocks twice, is a two time All-NBA selection, 2 time all-defensive, and a 5 time all-star. But his stats for the past two seasons, including this one, are amazing for his age. From the ages of 23-24 Anthony Davis has averaged 27.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. Davis has been cheated out of defensive player of the year at least twice, he is one of the few big men who can shoot the three pointer with a shooting percentage of a solid 31 percent. Doesn't sound good but this year he averages 2.1 threes attempted per game and 36.7 percent of them go through the net.

But in college he dominated when he won defensive player of the year, Player of the Year, and was selected first overall by the Pelicans in the 2012 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky.

In college he averaged this, just look 14.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 4.7 BLOCKS, the 34th highest BPG average in NCAA history. Keep in mind, number one only averaged 6.8. He led the Wildcats to an NCAA championship where he won player of the game with 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 3 steals, despite only shooting 1-10 from the field, he still won player of the game.

One other amazing stat it that in his senior year of high school he averaged 7 blocks per game, mad. Also, just a fun fact, after his junior year of high school he grew 9 inches, from 6 foot 2 inches to 6 foot 11 inches, MAD.

Kevin Durant

Snake? Snake?! SNAAAAAAAKE!?!?!?!?

Kevin Durant was selected second overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics out of the University of Texas, RIP Sonics. Durant is 6 foot 11 inches despite being listed at 6 foot 9 inches, there is speculation why. In college he averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.9 blocks, and shot 47.3 percent from the field while he won player of the year for the 2006 NCAA basketball season.

During Durant's 11 year long NBA career he has put up 27.1 points, 1.2 steals, 1.1 blocks, 7.1 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. He is a 4 time scoring champion. 1 time NBA MVP, 7 time All-NBA selection, and a 9 time all-star, as well as an NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP.

Durant played 9 seasons with the OKC Thunder and then left for free agency and signed with the Golden State Warriors.

Durant is probably the second best player in the NBA and soon will be the best, in the playoffs Durant has averaged 28.8 points, 1 steal, 1 block, and 8.1 rebounds. He has also led the playoffs in points per game 4 times. He is also an All-star game MVP.

James Harden

James Harden was selected with the third overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona State. In college he averaged 19 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals. He was also awarded with the PAC-12 Player of the Year honors. In his 9 year NBA Career he has averaged 22.8 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. But in his 6 all-star years he has averaged 27.8 points, 7.8 assists, and 1.7 steals along with 6 rebounds. In the 2016-2017 he averaged 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds when he came in second for the MVP voting behind triple double Russell Westbrook. This year he is averaging 31.3 points, 9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds. While he is currently leading the league in points per game, he has also led the Houston Rockets to the first seed in the Western Conference and a 44-13 record. He is a one time assist champion, one time sixth man of the year, 6 time all-star, and 4 time All-NBA Selection, he also came in second in the MVP voting twice. He played with the Thunder for three years and left for free agency after the year they lost in the NBA Finals to the LeBron led Miami Heat in 5 games. James signed with the Houston Rockets and showed everyone that he could be the number one option on a championship winning team by averaging 26 points, 1.8 steals, and 6 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis was the 15th overall pick out of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks out of Greece. Giannis was a "Do or Die" pick in the draft, by that I mean he was either going to be a huge bust or an NBA superstar. He is 6 foot 11 inches and 222 pounds, he has been in the NBA for 4 years and is a 2 time all-star, 1 time all-defensive team selection, and a one time all-NBA selection along with a Most Improved Player award.

He has averaged only 16.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks for his career, but in the past two season including this one he ahs put up numbers of 9.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.5 steals, and 24.8 points per game along with a solid 5.2 assists. But the one thing that really stands out is that he had those numbers from the ages of 22-23! The only player to ever average 24 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in NBA history from the ages of 22-23.

This year he is putting up numbers of 27.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks, and an amazing 54 percent field goal percentage, while leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the sixth seed in the Eastern conference.

He is currently the highest paid player in NBA history that is 24 or younger. (Correct me if I'm wrong) He is under contract until 2021.

The Greek Freak is a player that could be better than LeBron and Kobe Bryant put together, he is already an NBA Superstar at the age of 23, he's amazing and we haven't seen anyone even close to being like him.

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard was the 6th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers out of Weber State University. He averaged 18.6 points, 1.2 steals, 3.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds for his collegiate career. But in his senior year he showed out with 24.5 points, 4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 5 rebounds per game. He was twice named Big Sky player of the year, I never heard of the conference either.

The thing I love about Damian the most is his loyalty, after his freshman year of college he could've gone to Kentucky, Duke, or any of the college basketball powerhouses, but he stayed because Weber State is the college that believed in him enough to give him a scholarship. That's one of the biggest reasons he is on this list.

In his 6 year long NBA career Damian Lillard has averaged 22.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.1 rebounds a game, but in the past 3 seasons he has averaged 26 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Yet he only made the all-star game once in those three seasons and that one was this season when LeBron drafted him onto his team. Damian is a three time All-star and 2 time All-NBA selection. Damian is a player you can build your team around and someone that will try his hardest every single game he plays in, even if it's just a pick up game in the park.

Russell Westbrook

The best for last, Russell Westbrook is another once in a generation type of a talent. He is the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics out of LSU. Russell Westbrook is the best point guard in the NBA and Mr. Triple Double himself. He is a 1 time NBA MVP, 2 time Scoring Champion, and 6 time All-NBA selection, as well as a one time assist champion and a 7 time all-star, in only 10 seasons. Russell has a career PER of 23.9 but this year he has a PER of 25. During his MVP year he became the second player to ever average a triple double in a season and set the record for triple doubles in a single season. Many see him as Kevin Durant's predecessor but I seem him as the player that has replaced KD and has made a better team out of the OKC Thunder without him. This year Russ has averaged 25.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a league high 10.4 assists per game. Russ averaged 22.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.7 steals for his 10 year long career.

Like Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook is loyal, I think and I hope he will spend his entire career with the OKC Thunder.

Honorable Mentions and Reasons for Them

Kyrie Irving - Kyrie is an amazing player and is only 26 years old but he hasn't showed us he can be a number one option yet. Kyrie has played amazingly in the NBA Finals with his clutch 3 against the Warriors and over Curry. But he hasn't showed us consistently he can be a number option, is he has yet. No disrespect to Kyrie, it's just a Franchise Player is a whole entire tier in itself.

Victor Oladipo - Once again, just like for Kyrie, Victor hasn't showed us he can do it consistently. He has only been averaging 24.5 points and 2 steals for one season now, and we only just got past the all-star break. How about this, if he does it again next year than I will agree to it.

Stephen Curry - His stats don't show the fact that, number one, he sucks at defense, if you watch him closing you'll see that he doesn't give full effort and is just miserable at it. Also, he can only shoot, he can't drive the paint. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm just saying that's all he can do.

Jimmy Butler - Too old

Chris Paul - Too old

Gordon Hayward - He's injured and he has never shown that he can be a number one option on a championship winning team. His career averages are 15.6 points and 4 rebounds. Also, he's only averaged above 20 points per game once.

Kawhi Leonard - Since Kawhi has returned from injury he has only been putting up good defensive stats, 2 steals and 1 block a game. Also, he was injured again on January 13 with a quadriceps injury. I hope he can return, but sadly I doubt he will.

Devin Booker - This one is hard to justify, maybe it's my bias, maybe it's just the fact that I don't want to write anymore and I'm getting bored with this article. It's probably a mix. Jokes aside, Devin Booker has showed that he can't play defensively at all, while he does average 24 points this season he doesn't average even 1 steal and he only averages 0.3 blocks.

Paul George - Paul has never averaged above 24 points per game, also scoring has seemed as if it's all he can do. He can pass decently and rebound decently, granted, he is averaging 2.2 steals per game this year so I stand corrected. But we have never seen Paul able to put up numbers like 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Andrew Wiggins - Wiggins isn't even putting up 18 points per game this year, it could because of the addition of a new star player, or it could be his new hair. I think it's the hair. Jokes aside, Wiggins hasn't shown any potential that he could be a number one option at all.

Harden or Westbrook? (Who's Better)

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Is Curry a Franchise Player?

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