25. Jabari Parker (age 23)
24. Trae Young (age 20)
23. Brandon Ingram (age 21)
22. Andrew Wiggins (age 23)
21. Domantas Sabonis (age 22)
Out of the five guys listed here, Trae Young and Domantas Sabonis probably have the highest upside, and have a chance to climb these ranks within the next couple years. Brandon Ingram flashes potential at times, but is wildly inconsistent and hasn’t developed as well as expected for year 3. As for Wiggins, and Parker, both are over-paid volume scorers who shoot poorly from deep and consistently play bad defense.
20. Julius Randle (age 24)
19. Myles Turner (age 22)
18. Jaylen Brown (age 22)
17. Lauri Markannen (age 21)
16. Kyle Kuzma (age 23)
Kuzma continues to build upon an impressive rookie season upping his ppg to 19.1 as the second option on the Lakers. Jaylen Brown and Myles Turner both play outstanding defense, but have taken backseat roles on offense within their respective teams. Markannen has been extremely efficient on offense for a Bulls team lacking any scoring while Randle has been a revelation since signing with New Orleans, averaging 20ppg and 9.2rpg for the year.
15. Jamal Murray (age 21)
14. DeAndre Ayton (age 20)
13. D’Angelo Russell (age 22)
12. Clint Capela (age 24)
11. Jayson Tatum (age 20)
Tatum is as smooth of a scorer as there is in the NBA and will continue to rise up this list. There probably isn’t another center better suited for the Houston Rockets than Clint Capela, who excels on the boards and finishing lobs. Russell has only gotten better since leaving the Lakers. Ayton has been a bright spot on an awful Suns squad, showcasing versatility on the offensive end. Murray has played a huge role in the success the Nuggets have been having this year.
10. DeAaron Fox (age 21)
Fox has done the impossible by making the Sacramento Kings playoff contenders for the first time in 12 years. Fox has been shooting 46% from the field and 36.4% from deep while averaging 17.2ppg and 7.1apg. Not only has Fox been extremely efficient, he also leads one of the most fun offenses to watch in the league. The progression of Buddy Hield and Fox as a duo is something to keep your eye on going forward.
9. Donavan Mitchell (age 22)
Mitchell has built on a phenomenal rookie campaign following some early season struggles. He’s a great two-way player with a chance to have a HOF career. These first two years are eerily similar to Dwayne Wade’s early career.
8. Kristaps Porzingis (age 23)
Porzingis (when healthy) is among the most skilled players in the league. At 7’2 he is extremely long but has guard-like skills. His ability to shoot from deep makes him nearly impossible to guard. There still remains a question of durability when it comes to his long-term health.
7. Devin Booker (age 22)
Devin Booker has developed at a much faster rate than most expected. He’s currently averaging 25ppg and 6.7apg. While his scoring has been great, it hasn’t translated into wins for Phoenix. Expect Booker and Ayton to develop into a great duo within the next couple years.
6. Ben Simmons (age 22)
Ben Simmons recently made his first all star game, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at his averages of 16.7ppg, 8apg, and 9.2rpg. Despite not having a jumpshot, he’s been very effective because he has such a versatile game. I’m not convinced Simmons ever develops a jumpshot and it probably will hinder him in today’s NBA. Regardless, Simmons is a generational talent as a 6’10 point guard with exceptional court vision.
5. Luka Doncic (age 19)
Doncic has been the most impressive rookie since LeBron James. His step-back 3’s in clutch moments are unreal for a guy that’s 19. One of the most exciting players in the league already, expect Doncic to develop into a great.
4. Karl Anthony Towns (age 23)
Karl Anthony Towns puts up ridiculous stats and is as skilled a post as there is in the league. No one has ever denied how talented Towns is, but it’s fair to wonder if any other star has as empty stats as he does. Going forward, Towns will have to prove he can lead a team to be contenders, otherwise, he’s likely to fall on this list.
3. Nikola Jokic (age 23)
Jokic may end up being the best passing center of all time as he averages 7.7apg. His game is really unconventional with a strange looking jumpshot and below average athleticism, but it sure does work well. Denver currently has the second best record in the West and Jokic is the biggest reason why.
2. Joel Embiid (age 24)
Embiid doesn’t have any weaknesses in his game. He’s very skilled and physically dominant in the post. Yet, he can also run the floor like a deer. Not to mention, he’s a pretty good defensive center. It’s not hard to envision Embiid having a hall of fame career, with a chance at being one of the great centers to have played.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (age 24)
The Greek Freak is most likely to be the face of the NBA after LeBron’s run is over. He’s electrifying in every sense of the word and continues to get better. The Milwaukee Bucks have become title contenders through the dominance of Giannis and there’s no reason they can’t sustain it for the next 10 years.