The NBA is filled with great young talent. Some of the best players in the league are under the age of 25. This is a sign that the future of the NBA is bright.
Often, NBA talent is divided into those who are too old to keep up with the pace of the young players, and those who are too young and lack the experience necessary to lead a championship team. These five players prove that age is just a number, as they have all helped lead their respective teams to success. Here are the best NBA players under the age of 25. This considers both talent and what each individual has accomplished so far in their career.
5. Zion Williamson
The sample size for Zion Williamson is small, but there is no doubt that he is one of the best young athletes when he is healthy. Zion has an incredible combination of strength, speed, and athleticism that the league has rarely seen before.
There isn’t much Zion can’t do. He could play point guard if he needed to, but Zion’s best skill comes from his dominance inside the paint. He is one of the most efficient paint scorers since Shaquille O’Neal. In just his second season in the NBA, Zion averaged 27 points per game on 61 percent shooting from the field.
That being said, he has room to grow. The first step to that is focusing on his conditioning to stay healthy. In three NBA seasons, Zion Williamson has only played in 85 games.
4. Trae Young
Trae Young has grown into a legitimate NBA superstar. Young has the ability to shoot deep shots. When he gets hot, he is a dangerous threat from outside. That being said, his best attributes are probably his inside floaters and ability to dish out passes to his teammates.
Young has shown that he loves the spotlight. In his first career postseason, we saw Trae Young taunt the Knicks and the 76ers on his way to the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 28.8 points per game and 9.5 assists per game that postseason.
Last postseason, Trae Young did not perform his best. He was going up against an elite Miami Heat defense and coaching staff that knew how to contain Young. The next step for Trae Young will be his decision making. If he can work on that, he can become one of the very best offensive players in the NBA.
3. Ja Morant
Ja Morant won the Rookie of the Year Award, but last season was his true breakout season. He became a legitimate NBA superstar. There is a solid argument that Morant is the second-best point guard in the NBA behind Stephen Curry.
In the regular season, Morant led the NBA in points per game in the paint while averaging 27.4 points per game. In the playoffs, he has stepped up his game even further. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in the middle of the series against the Golden State Warriors and lost against the eventual champions.
Ja Morant will return next season better than ever. He is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA.
2. Jayson Tatum
It is hard to believe that Jayson Tatum is still under 25, but it is true. Tatum has improved every season in the NBA. He has made the playoffs each season of his career. In his first season, he went up against LeBron James and proved he was ready to compete against the best in the league. He has helped lead the Celtics to three Conference Finals appearances and one NBA Finals appearance.
Last season was a defining moment in Tatum’s career. When all hope seemed lost, the Celtics found another gear and turned the season around. They found a defensive identity that helped them reach the NBA Finals. The next test for Jayson Tatum will be leading his team to an NBA championship.
1. Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic has been a star in the NBA ever since he joined the league. Even at the age of 23, Luka is already a top ten player in the NBA. He is favored to win the MVP next season.
Luka is arguably the best offensive player in the NBA. He has no weakness offensively, except for maybe free throws. His exceptional talent in every area helps him to control the game.
Luka is not the best defender, but he could become better if he works on his conditioning. That is the next step Luka can take to elevate his game. The Mavericks reached the Conference Finals last season for the first time since Luka joined the team. If he can improve, along with the team around him, the Mavericks could be NBA champions soon.
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