ESPN's Get Up decided to get an interesting conversation going on Monday morning. As they asked the question: "Who would you start an NBA franchise with today?" Former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins skipped the popular vote of Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and selected Philadelphia 76ers big man, Joel Embiid.
In the process of explaining his reasoning, Perkins went as far as comparing Embiid to a notable Hall of Fame big man, Hakeem Olajuwon. While Perkins has been critical of Embiid in the past, he's bought in on the Sixers' big man lately.
"When I look at a guy to take to start my team today if I had to draft number one, it would be Joel Embiid," Perkins claimed on Get Up.
"He is the closest thing... he is the 275-pound Hakeem Olajuwon. [He's a] special talent averaging 30 points and 11 rebounds. By the way, talking about youth, he's only 26 years of age. He hasn't even reached his prime! And guess what? He's on the verge of probably winning the MVP. The last four people to win the MVP averaging 30 points, and shooting 50-percent from the field is Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Michael Jordan on back-to-back years."
Calling Embiid another Olajuwon is certainly premature, but Perkins raises a good point. As a seven-footer, Embiid is a rare breed that can do it all. Not only can he dominate in the post like most star centers should be able to, but the big man has put a lot of focus on improving as a shooter over the years and it's beginning to pay off.
Through his first four years, Embiid has shot 48-percent from the field and 31-percent from beyond-the-arc. This season, his field goal percentage is up to 51, and he's knocking down 41-percent of his threes. Before, injuries seemed to be the only thing keeping Embiid out of the MVP conversation.
But as Embiid has been healthier than ever this year with just a few setbacks keeping him off the floor, it's hard to deny his status as the NBA's frontrunner right now.