Every now and then, the league was used to see a teenager take the league for assault and turn into a one in a lifetime kind of player, with Elder veterans always taking a step aside and these Young men taking the reins of the league.
We’ve seen young ballers of the likes of LeBron James dominate the league early on and find their way to basketball stardom, and nowadays, scouts take youth over development every time they’re looking for the next superstar.
The 1 and done policy makes scouts draft younger players instead of guys that have already spent several years in college and learn to play on a system, and more often than not, they wind up finding diamonds in the rough that are set to have a very long tenure in the league.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 players under 23 years old, so you know who’s going to be dominating the NBA for at least one decade.
10. Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma really stepped up for the Los Angeles Lakers and played well ahead of what was expected out of him during his rookie season, developing a lot of chemistry with standout rookie Lonzo Ball and giving a lot of hope for the future.
Kuzma played at both forward spots and even as a center, he put averages of 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 threes per game, and was a great stretch big man for the purple and gold due to his great three-point shooting, and when he improves his overall defense, he’s set to be a very dominant two way player for years.
9. D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell’s career didn’t get off as anybody expected, but before he was labeled as a major bust, he proved that he’s a walking bucket now that he had the green light to run the Brooklyn Nets’ offense.
Russell’s playmaking abilities were slightly better this year and his confidence was definitely year all season long, posting averages of 15.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.9 triples and 0.8 steals per game. Durability is the lone concern for him, being kind of injury prone to begin his career.
8. Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon was another young man that truly stepped up this season entering a contract year, putting up a lot of work during the offseason to be able to become a consistent shooter rather than just a below-the-rim kind of finisher.
Gordon improved as a three-point shooter, as a facilitator and even as a rebounder and shot blocker, putting season averages of 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assist and 0.8 blocks per game, granting to be paid a lot of money this upcoming campaign.
7. Lonzo Ball
Lonzo was far from perfect throughout his rookie season, but he definitely made the Lakers better in both ends of the hardwood, especially on the defensive end of the floor despite defense not being his forte.
He was able to push up-tempo and constantly find the open teammate, he looked confident and was even a consistent shooter over the last passages of the year, putting season averages of 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 triples and 1.7 steals, and showing glimpses of greatness when he was able to be on the floor.
6. Jayson Tatum
When the Boston Celtics traded down in order to pass on Markelle Fultz and get Jayson Tatum, some people thought they were getting scammed. Needless to say, they were terribly mistaken, with Tatum already looking like a veteran that can make a huge impact on both ends of the floor.
Tatum is perhaps the most complete player of his class, proved that he can be a consistent scorer from everywhere on the floor, is a committed defender and rebounder and a very mature young man, putting season averages of 13.9 points, 5 rebounds, 1.6 assists,1.3 triples and 1 steal per game.
5. Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis wasn’t able to finish this campaign following yet another injury, and this kind of lingering pains have put a huge question mark over his head, but there’s absolutely no doubt regarding his top-notch talent in the offensive end of the floor.
He needs to improve his rebounding, but his overall defensive awareness really improved from his past couple of campaign, putting season averages of 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 three-pointers and 2.4 blocks per game for the sluggish New York Knicks.
4. Devin Booker
Devin Booker has recently stated that he’s sick and tired of not making the playoffs and that he’s going to put major work in the offseason in order to finally lead the mediocre Phoenix Suns all the way to the postseason.
Booker has the kind of offensive skill set to lead the league in scoring, and he has improved as a team player as well. Obviously, his defense is still a work in progress, but his season averages of 24.9 points, 4.5 boards, 4.7 dimes and 0.9 steals per game were quite impressive.
3. Donovan Mitchell
The standout rookie came pretty much out of the blue but led the league right out of the gate, being the leading scorer in one of the best teams in the Western Conference with his season averages of 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.4 triples and 1.5 steals per game.
Mitchell gained a lot of praise from his teammates and veteran colleagues all over the league, and he was a walking bucket all season long. He’s quick, athletic, and a terrific shooter, and he has the defensive instincts to become a superstar.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns played his heart out all year long and led the league in double-doubles with his top-notch scoring ability and rebounding skills, even improving a lot in the defensive end of the floor as a rim protector.
He was a major factor in this great run the Timberwolves put together in order to end their long playoffs drought, and his season averages of 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game prove that he’s got to be in the MVP conversation on a yearly basis.
1. Ben Simmons
Ok, Ben Simmons may not be the best player under 23, but he’s definitely the most impressive because all of the things he can do with the rock on his hands, and even off the ball as a much better defender than everybody expected him to be.
Simmons was a walking triple-double threat all season long with his averages of 15.8 points,8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, and was such a dominant and versatile player that he looks like a lock to carry LeBron’s torch and dominate the league for many, many years to come.