Durant: Karl-Anthony Towns will be a Hall of Famer

Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Kevin Durant's spot in basketball's Hall of Fame is all but guaranteed, and the Oklahoma City Thunder forward sees that potential in Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

While Towns is still in the midst of his first NBA season, Durant has seen enough to believe that the Kentucky product will surely be immortalized in the basketball world when his time comes.

"He's going to be a Hall of Famer in this league," Durant told Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press ahead of the Thunder's matchup with the Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The rookie is averaging 15.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 29 minutes. But perhaps more telling are his 3.2 win shares and 21.7 PER, both team highs that illustrate how influential he's been on both ends of the court.

If those numbers aren't enough, the 20-year-old has finished with a double-double in 17 of his 38 games played.

Couple that productivity with that of another certain phenom in teammate Andrew Wiggins, and Towns is set to continue to excel in the NBA with no end in sight for his development.

Durant's bold prediction is helped slightly by some history. Fourteen first overall picks have gone on to make the Hall of Fame, including legendary examples in the form of Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Of course, that list doesn't include those who are also a near lock to be elected when eligible, such as Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, and Tim Duncan, to name a few.

However, having a team select you first overall doesn't always foreshadow a career of stardom - just ask Kwame Brown, Andrea Bargnani, or, more recently, 2013's No. 1 pick, Anthony Bennett. Despite his professional career being in its infancy, though, it's safe to assume Towns has already distanced himself talent-wise from the aforementioned three.

But whether he's a safe bet for the Hall of Fame or not, at his current pace, Towns will undoubtedly be a force in the league for years to come.

Durant: Karl-Anthony Towns will be a Hall of Famer
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