25 Under 25 - Part 1
The NBA is entering a new era. Plenty of our favorite players are beginning to age and enter the later stages of their careers. There is a surge of young stars taking over the league. In these playoffs, we have been seeing glimpses of what's to come in the future. Safe to say the league is going to be in good hands.
I took the time out to compile a list of the top 25 players under 25 years old. The list will be broken up into two separate pieces. This first one will highlight my top 10 players under the age of 25.
All discussions and debates are invited. Be my guest.
1. Luka Dončić
28.4 PPG - 9.1 RPG - 8.7 APG - 45 FG% - 35 3FG% - 74 FT%
Luka at the top spot goes without saying. At only 23 years old he is easily among the top 10 players in the league. In four seasons Dončić has raised his level of play, and it doesn't look like he is anywhere near his peak. He pretty much does what he wants out there on the court. He isn't the most athletic or explosive but he always gets the job done with the lights shining the brightest. Luka is a generational talent. Simple.
2. Jayson Tatum
26.9 PPG - 8 RPG - 4.4 APG - 45 FG% - 35 3FG% - 85 FT%
Jayson Tatum has blossomed into a bonafide star. After the Boston Celtics struggled for the first half of the season, Tatum stepped his play to another level. His abilities as a scorer were on display this season and he used an extra gear to turn himself into one of the league's best two-way players at just 24 years of age. The Celtics are presently a championship contender and he is a large part of that.
3. Ja Morant
27.4 PPG - 6.7 APG - 5.7 RPG - 49 FG% - 34 3FG% - 76 FT%
Ja Morant won this season's Most Improved Player award while also being in the race for the MVP race. He stepped his game up and entered the class of the elite players in the NBA. He has done all of this as a 22-year-old and as time goes on it is only logical that he continues his reign as one of the league's best. Behind his explosive highlights and infectious energy, the young Memphis Grizzlies were the third seed in the Western Conference. Ja Morant is a hooper.
4. Trae Young
28.4 PPG - 9.7 APG - 3.7 RPG - 46 FG% - 38 3FG% - 90 FT%
Trae Young a.k.a Ice Trae is a bonafide star. His ability to control the pace of a game is something that very few players in this league can do. His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting range and his ability to get into the lane has him ranked as one of the best point guards out there. Ice Trae will continue to collect all-star nods as his career goes on. He will only get better with time. Look at his numbers and watch him play, it's scary that he's only 23 years old.
5. Brandon Ingram
22.7 PPG - 5.8 RPG - 5.6 APG - 46 FG% - 32 3FG% - 82.6 FT%
This game is all about buckets. Brandon Ingram is a bucket. NBA pundits and scouts all saw the potential in him as a scorer when he was drafted in 2016. Six years later and the 24-year-old is much more than just a scorer. After never touching the playoffs, Ingram helped lead the Pelicans into the playoffs from a play-in spot. After taking the number one seeded Phoenix Suns to six games, the NBA world was exposed to the different facets of Ingram's game. He has grown into a leader and facilitator when need be. Brandon Ingram is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
6. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
24.5 PPG - 5.9 APG - 5 RPG - 45 FG% - 30 3FG% - 81 FT%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been a silent killer ever since he entered the league. He is by far one of the smoothest players and scorers in this league. His ability to get to his spots at his own pace is remarkable. He is a personal favorite and with the lack of nationally televised games, not a lot of fans are privy to his game. He is a special player and as time goes people will be aware of SGA. At the age of 23, he is nowhere near his prime, but he is already in the top 10 among the young players in the league.
7. LaMelo Ball
20.1 PPG - 7.6 APG - 6.7 RPG - 43 FG% - 39 3FG% - 87 FT%
LaMelo Ball is probably the most popular player on this list. While his marketability is sky high, so is his game and potential. At only 20 years old, LaMelo Ball is already one of the NBA's brightest stars. His passing and vision have a showtime-like quality to it. His size at the point guard position is something you can't teach. Ball is the type of player who can do everything offensively at a high level. We all know the name already; now we just sit back and watch his hoop.
8. Anthony Edwards
21.3 PPG - 4.8 RPG - 3.8 APG - 44 FG% - 35.7 3FG% - 78.6 FT%
Anthony Edwards is a certified scorer with supreme confidence. At just the age of 20, Edwards is one of the league's most dynamic scorers if you ask me. His ability to go downhill and attack the basket is nothing to be scoffed at. Pair that with his ability to score from the perimeter off the dribble and you have a future superstar. After making the playoffs and getting a taste of that atmosphere, Ant-Man will look to improve his game and get back there for sure.
9. Bam Adebayo
19.1 PPG - 10 RPG - 3.4 APG - 55.7 FG% - 75 FT% - 1.4 SPG
Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat are practically made for each other. The Heat culture of hard work and diligence is something that Bam entered this league with. Bam is one of the league's best defenders and his improved offensive game is nothing to ignore. His demeanor on the court is well beyond his 24 years. Adebayo is proven and has performed in all the levels of competition the NBA has to offer.
10. Darius Garland
21.7 PPG - 8.6 APG - 3 RPG - 46 FG% - 38 3FG% - 89 FT%
Darius Garland is one of the most underrated players in the league. He is a player with a great feel for the game. Not only can he score and create his own shot, but he also does the same for his teammates at a pretty high level. Behind his play at the point guard position, the Cleveland Cavaliers were more relevant than they have ever been since the departure of LeBron James. Garland is a hooper for real. At the age of 22, he is already a one-time all-star and he has plenty more coming in the future.
Stay tuned for part two of the 25 Under 25 list covering the remaining 15 players. You will be surprised who made the list and who was left off. Feel free to leave comments and let me know how you feel about the first 10 players on this list.