Top 10 NBA Players Under 25 Years Old
Written by: Andrew Felton
Jayson Tatum rising up / www.talkbasket.net
With ESPN recently releasing their top 25 players under 25 and coming under a lot of scrutiny from everyone who loves the NBA, here is a top 10 list of who I believe are the best under 25.
10. Lamelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets (19)
Most of the controversy was around the No.3 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, Lamelo Ball. With his incredible start in the NBA, before getting injured, he was on track to win the rookie of the year award and has turned the Charlotte Hornets franchise into one of the most exciting to watch in the league and impressing sports analysts and announcers all around the world.
With Lamelo Ball posting 15.9PPG, 5.9RPG, and 6.1APG before his injury, he became the first teenager to do so and was doing it in an exciting fashion, with flashing dimes and incredible scoring attributes, Ball has the potential to become one of the best NBA players of his era.
9. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies (21)
Morant might not be in a lot of people’s top 10 however, the No.2 draft pick and rookie of the year winner has been carrying the Grizzlies since his rookie career and took them to a one-off, playoff game, which they lost to the Trail Blazers last season.
Ja Morant has the superstar potential which could take any team to the playoffs and this has been shown through his leadership skills on the court at such a young age for the Grizzlies, averaging 18.8PPG, 3.5RPG, and 7.4APG this season even with vital players missing. If Morant could develop and improve his scoring numbers, there's no doubt he will be in talks for an MVP in the future.
8. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (22)
There will always be doubts about Trae Young’s NBA career due to his size and limitations on the defensive end when matching up against the league's best guards. But, what makes Young special is his ability to score from anywhere, whether that's pulling up from deep or driving to the rim for a lay-up, it's not only his scoring but his ability to facilitate players around him.
So far this season Trae is averaging close to a double-double with 25.1PPG, 3.9RPG, and 9.5APG and helping the Hawks to fifth position in the Eastern Conference with a 27-25 record. Being only 22 years of age posting these numbers, a few more years of growth, and Trae will be mentioned in MVP talks.
7. Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (23)
Bam Adebayo is currently one of the most versatile big men in the league, being able to contribute for the Miami Heat on both ends of the court. With Bam always being dominant on the defensive side, adding a solid mid-range jumper, increasing his points scoring and field goal percentage, the only attribute that needs to be added to his game is a three-point shot, to become a complete player.
After missing out on a ring last season, losing to the Lakers in the NBA finals, Bam has come back posting 19.1PPG, 9.5RPG, and 5.4APG, showing off his all-round play and will only get better with age and experience.
6. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (24)
Ben Simmons is arguably one of the best all round defensive players in the league, being able to guard any position at the highest level. Standing at 6ft 11inches it is clear to see why Simmons is so good defensively however, alongside this he has been scoring over 15PPG, 1.5 steals per game, 7.5APG, and also 7.5RPG over his short career so far.
With many people doubting Simmons, due to having no three-point shot and no consistent jumper, does this matter when his all-round game is so damn good? Currently averaging 15PPG, 7.7RPG, and 7.1APG you can understand why Simmons is helping the 76ers to the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (24)
Bubble Booker was someone not to be messed with towards the end of last season when he led the Suns to an 8-0 record in Orlando averaging 30.5ppg, 6apg and 4.9rpg, despite not actually making the playoffs. This however, really showed the potential and promise that Booker has on an NBA court.
With the Suns addition of Chris Paul and Booker posting several 30+ point games, a career high in steals, and helping the suns to the second best defensive rating in the league, could this be Bookers year to reach an NBA final, currently sitting second in the Western Conference and averaging 26PPG, 4.1RPG, and 4.5APG.
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (24)
Currently the leading points scorer for the NBA’s best team and sitting top of the Western Conference with 40 wins, the Utah Jazz mean business this year. With Mitchell having an all-round attack and improving his 3-point shooting this season, the only real thing that lets him down can be his inefficiency with the ball but, this can be countered by his effort and hard work winning the ball back on defense.
Mitchell is averaging 26.3PPG, 4.5RPG, and 5.3APG and has 18 games scoring 30+ points and twice scoring 42. If Mitchell can become more efficient with the ball on the offense, in terms of shooting and passing, there is no telling how good his career could be.
3. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (23)
Playing for one of the most successful teams in the NBA there will always be pressure on a Boston Celtics player to perform, but a player who has relished this pressure in Jayson Tatum. Already appearing in two All-Star games, Tatum is a special talent who will always be an offensive threat throughout his career.
Although the Celtics have not been as dominant as they would have liked to this season, they still sit seventh in the Eastern Conference with 27 wins and 26 losses, and along with Jaylen Brown, Tatum has had a lot to do with this averaging 25.7PPG, 7RPG, and 4.3APG, with many people commenting on his ability to draw fouls in the paint as his biggest weakness. At only 23 years of age, if this is his only drawback, he stands to have a very impressive career.
2. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans (20)
Zion Williamson is probably one of the most hyped and watched players in the league. Joining the New Orleans Pelicans as the well known No.1 draft pick from Duke, Zion had a tough start to his rookie career getting injured early on in the season causing him to miss the bulk of games and then missing out on the play-offs in the bubble. This said his impressive style of play, incredible field goal percentage, and all-around aggressiveness, he has been a huge problem for all competitors in the league and is showing this in his second season.
Zion is averaging 26.5PPG, 7.1PRG, and 3.6APG this season, having the seventh highest field goal percentage in the league. With the correct supporting cast around Zion, he could easily be a future champion, MVP and hall of famer.
1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (22)
Luka Doncic will most probably be top of these lists until he gets to 25, thanks to his impressive handles, clutch threes, immense scoring and flashing dimes. Doncic has already won Rookie of the year, he’s a 2x all star, plus has won several awards in European basketball leagues, despite only being the third draft pick, then traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the Dallas Mavericks involving Trae Young.
This season Luka is producing 28.5PPG, 8.2RPG, and 8.7APG with fans in awe of what he achieves each game, whether that is putting up 40+ point games or helping his team with another triple double. With Doncic currently in the running to win the MVP and the Mavs sat seventh in the Western Conference, similar to Zion, there is no telling what Doncic’s career holds, with the possibility of winning multiple MVPs, championships, appearing in All-Star games throughout his career and finally breaking that glass ceiling of being in the Hall of Fame.