The young talent in the NBA is thriving. From promising rookies to established players looking to ascend to the next level, there is a bright future for the league. With all of this excellent young talent, we decided to take a look at the 10 best NBA players under the age of 25.
10. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
- Key stats: 21.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 5.6 APG
After being traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night, Doncic was viewed as a potential backcourt mate to Dennis Smith Jr. He has set the league on fire and could garner an All-NBA spot at the end of the season. His ability to make plays with or without the ball in his hands allowed the Mavs to trade for Kristaps Porzingis, who is recovering from an ACL tear. Doncic should become a perennial MVP candidate as his game improves.
9. Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
- Key stats: 17.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.0 BPG (Career)
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you — Dallas has two of the best NBA players under age 25. Porzingis was viewed as a draft-day shocker when the Knicks selected him with the No. 4 pick in 2015. He already has an All-Star game appearance to his name, and if he comes back from his 2018 ACL tear at his previous level of play, the Mavericks will be a contender in the West for a number of years.
8. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
- Key stats: 25.1 PPG, 6.7 APG, 4.1 RPG
Devin Booker has been a bright spot for a dim Suns’ team since coming into the league, and he’s one of the best NBA players under 25 years old. Pairing him up with No.1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton has helped his assist numbers, but he is still a better scoring guard than a distributor.
The Suns are currently last in the Western Conference, but that could change soon. Adding college stars Cam Reddish or Zion Williamson in the draft roster could get the Suns out of the basement.
7. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
- Key stats: 23.5 PPG, 4.1 APG, 4.0 RPG
Mitchell was the runner up for 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year, and he has been a volume scorer for the Jazz and helped lead the team to the playoffs last season. He has continued his scoring tear this year while leading Utah to a top seed in the West. If Utah is going to make noise in the playoffs again Mitchell will have to continue to improve on the defensive end of the floor.
6. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Key stats: 24.5 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
Karl-Anthony Towns may be one of the most physically gifted players in the league, but he sits at number six on our list. His stats are great, averaging a double-double on the season, but the Timberwolves are six games out of the No. 8 seed in the West. For Towns and Andrew Wiggins to both be paid with max deals and come up short keeps him in the bottom half of our list.
5. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
- Key stats: 16.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 APG
Tatum’s numbers aren’t blowing you away this season, but the Celtics forward has proven he can perform with the best players in the league in crunch time. He carried the Celtics on the offensive end of the floor during last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals, and pairing him with Kyrie Irving makes Boston a threat to come out of the East this year.
4. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
- Key stats: 20.4 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 7.6 APG
One of the more underrated and underpaid players in the league, Nikola Jokic is a potential walking triple-double. While Russell Westbrook gets all the praise for his triple-double accomplishments on the court, there isn’t a big man in the league with as complete of an arsenal as Jokic.
He can score in the post, hit shots from the outside, and make passes that remind fans of Chris Webber and Vlade Divac during their time in Sacramento. If the Nuggets are going to dethrone the Warriors in the West, then Jokic has to be their X-factor.
3. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
- Key stats: 17.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 7.9 APG
Since entering the league, Simmons has looked like a Hall of Fame-caliber player. He was an easy choice for rookie of the year last season, and he can get to the basket easier than anyone in the NBA.
A point guard of his size shouldn’t be as dominant as he is passing the ball, and you can argue the only hole in his game is his lack of a jump shot. For the 76ers to come up big in the playoffs Simmons will need to be at his best, along with his “Trust the Process” partner in crime.
2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
- Key stats: 27.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 3.4 APG
Embiid spent a majority of his first couple seasons on the bench or in the training room rehabbing injuries. Now, he is best NBA players under 25 years old. Averaging more than 27 points and 13 rebounds per game, he is a force on both ends of the floor.
The 76ers will need Embiid, Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris to all play efficient basketball if they are going to upset our No. 1 player on the list who leads the team to beat in the East.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
- Key stats: 27.0 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.0 APG
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a potential MVP this season, and he has seen his level of play increase each year in the league. He can attack the basket, hit a spot-up three, and also make amazing passes from anywhere on the floor.
The Bucks are the No. 1 team in the East and have a shot at securing home court in the NBA Finals if they make it that far. Giannis is a generational talent and Bucks fans should be excited at the potential championships he can bring to the franchise.
Who are your top players under 25?
This list is full of some of the best young players in the NBA, but is there anyone who’s missing that should be included? Who would you pick first if you were starting a team today?