It's been said a lot over the past couple of years, but there's no doubt that the NBA is in great hands right now. While players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and more are aging, we have seen the emergence of many faces that will carry the league for several years.
Players like Devin Booker, Trae Young, Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and more will or are already doing great things in the league. There are many talented young players that can become the next big thing in the NBA, but not everybody can stand out from their competition.
Picking the five best young players in the league is a tough task. Shaquille O'Neal was given this job recently and the 4x NBA champion struggled a little, just like the rest of us would have in front of that question. Talking with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, the Big Diesel came up with a couple of names pretty quickly, before thinking more about the rest of the list.
He clarified that Stephen Curry doesn't fit that description and he went with different players. First, it was 2x NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, then Jayson Tatum. Rooks had to help O'Neal and named Ja Morant. He also added Luka Doncic to the mix and then had issues picking the fifth one.
Shaq had to pick between Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell, going with the latter to complete his top 5. Rooks asked O'Neal to give some love to Mitchell, but he clarified he's more of a tough-love person, which he has shown in the past years.
O'Neal and Mitchell have had a complex 'relationship', if they've ever had any. Shaq believes in the Utah Jazz's guard, but he's the first one to call him out when Spida underperforms.
This is a solid list. Some fans, though, would put Trae, Devin Booker, Jordan Poole, Jaylen Brown, LaMelo Ball, or anybody else there.