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Ranking The Best NBA Players 25 And Under By Tiers

Ranking The Best NBA Players 25 And Under By Tiers

Age doesn't mean anything in the NBA. We have seen some of the greats like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis accomplish great things before the age of their 25th birthday. We know that there are some exceptions but for the most part, we see some of the best seasons before the age of 25 when younger prospects enter the league at a young age.

That why we should appreciate the longevity of the league's superstars while keeping an eye on the next generation. While LeBron, Durant, and Davis are producing at a high level, the next generation is on the rise. With that said, let's take a look at the best of the best who are 25 years or younger.

Tier 1

Luka Doncic

Doncic could win the MVP award by next season and there's a strong case that he is the best of this under-25 group. He is the only player in the group that has finished in the top-5 of the Kia MVP voting. In the playoffs, without Kristaps Porzingis, Doncic nearly led the Mavericks to an upset victory over the much more talented Los Angeles Clippers. Elite defenders such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George did not have an answer for him. Doncic leads all players in the group in scoring as well. Over the course of the next decade, the 22-year old is going to put up eye-popping numbers. He already leads the Mavericks franchise in triple-doubles. Imagine how much more that number is going to grow.

Tier 2

Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Brandon Ingram

Tatum has been a starter since coming into the league. He owns a career average of 18.6 points and 6.1 rebounds and he is just 23 years old. The Celtics have qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals in two of the last three seasons with Tatum leading the way. Booker scored the highest amount of points (70) since Kobe Bryant's magical 81-point game. The 24-year old is considered one of the most underrated players in the NBA.

Williamson and Simmons, both former No. 1 overall picks, are working their way towards becoming the next faces of the league. Williamson (20) became the fourth-youngest NBA All-Star starter a few weeks ago. He trailed only Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson in that category. As for Simmons, the 24-year old remains one of the best two-way point guards in the league.

Donovan Mitchell at 24 years old has the Utah Jazz leading the Western Conference, while Ingram is the reigning NBA Most Improved Player of the Year. Mitchell is the lowest draft selection out of the group, No. 13 overall in 2017, but has played like a former No. 2 overall pick like Ingram.

Tier 3

Karl-Anthony Towns, Bam Adebayo, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown

Towns have played like a great value Tim Duncan over the course of his career but have not found the winning accolades. Towns have qualified for two All-Star teams but have been apart of just one playoff team with the Timberwolves. Murray also possesses the same amount of potential but his shooting inconsistencies have landed him in the third tier. Both players can have big games, but can also throw up a very concerning stat line.

Brown and Adebayo have been the most consistent and are on the verge of becoming Tier 2 players. Brown is having the best season of his career with 24.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. Brown needs to have more seasons like this; otherwise, he will remain in the middle of the pack. As for Adebayo, his breakout season came last year after qualifying for the All-Star game. The 23-year old was nationally recognized for his work ethic and hustle during the Miami Heat's run to the NBA Finals. Adebayo is having his best scoring season (19.0) and has a respectable 9.5 rebounds per game. Could we see these two players transitioning towards greatness soon?

Tier 4

Trae Young, Ja Morant, Kristaps Porzingis, D'Angelo Russell, Deandre Ayton, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis has qualified for two straight All-Star games, so you might be wondering why he is in Tier 4. For starters, despite the 24-year old averaging a double-double with a high 6.3 assists per game average, he doesn't quite change the course of games. Offensively, Sabonis is the best player on offense, but it's the Kevin Love problem. Love put up outstanding numbers during his time in Minnesota but were never true contenders. The same goes for Sabonis. His teammate, Turner, are both foundational pieces that make the Pacers an interesting quick rebuild. Turner leads the league in blocks but outside of rim-protecting, his game is one-dimensional.

Young is in the same boat as Sabonis and the Pacers. Young is averaging 25.9 points and 9.4 assists per game but is slowly trending towards post-30-year old Russell Westbrook production. Despite the stats, the Hawks are one of the worst teams in the East. Is the fit not right for him? The same question goes for Porzingis, who also puts up strong numbers, but can't help the Mavericks be more than a .500 team.

As for some budding stars like Morant and Ayton, the two just need more time in the league. Ayton has averaged 16.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in his career and is just 22 years old. Morant is the reigning Rookie of the Year and only 21 years old. Look for both to be at the top of this chart in the next two seasons.

Tier 5

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Michael Porter Jr., De'Aaron Fox, Christian Wood, John Collins, LaMelo Ball, Collin Sexton

Some of these prospects are disappointing. De'Aaron Fox has a max contract but has never made an All-Star game. The 23-year old is averaging the most points (23.5) and assists (7.5) in his career, so there is hope for the Kings shortly. Collins has regressed from a stellar 20 and 10 season a year ago to having fewer points, rebounds, and a lower shooting percentage. He is also 23 years old. Finally, Porter Jr. has been somewhat of a disappointment. His stock was high after the playoffs but now is just averaging 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. Granted, this is his first fully healthy season, so there is plenty of reason for optimism.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has an unfair opportunity on his hand. Four of the five starters from last season left the Thunder and now the 22-year old has to lead by himself. He is going to potentially be a Tier 2 or Tier 3 player by next season. The same goes for Wood, who is having a breakout season on a bad Houston Rockets team.

The two more intriguing prospects from this group are Sexton and Ball. Sexton is averaging 23.9 points per game and the 22-year old looks like a great value Kyrie Irving right now. The future is bright for Cleveland if they can add a few more pieces. As for Charlotte, the 19-year old Ball is the youngest player to ever record a triple-double. He is the runaway Rookie of the Year candidate with 16.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.9 rebounds this season. The ball will be a Tier 1 player in two seasons. You can count on that.


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