Some players have their breakout year later in their career, but other show their skills and potential very early in their NBA career. These are the very best players under 25 in the league right now.
5. Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell definitely proved his worth last season with the Utah Jazz, and that he could do better than most people had expected before the season started. He was a great scorer, and he even did a great job in the first playoffs of his young career. He might even be credited for getting the Jazz into the playoffs.
Furthermore, Mitchell has proved he is a great asset on offense and defense, which makes him just a bit better than other great players under 25 (and there are a lot). Besides that, his scoring went up from his last season in college, and that’s interesting to see and we’re curious if he manages to step it up even more next season.
4. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons was the revelation of last season, and he was very convincing as the starting point guard of the 76ers. His rookie of the year award was also well deserved, but he really needs to improve some of his skills to reach his potential. Simmons managed to be dominating without even being somewhat of a threat outside the bucket or from the free throw line, but he seemed to disappear in the playoffs. Therefore, it will be very important to develop an at least decent shot from outside. Even if that isn’t his first, or second, option, he shouldn’t be afraid to shoot from outside. If he does, he has the potential to follow in the footsteps of LeBron. Last, Simmons has to take care of the ball more, as he overdoes it sometimes and has somewhat of a high turnover ratio.
3. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns is already a force on offense, but he still needs to improve himself on defense. But, he’s a great player for the Minnesota Timberwolves to build their franchise around. Towns is still only 22 years old, so he still has enough time to improve on defense, which he already has done in his first three season. Furthermore, he has been averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, and been a huge part of the offense of the Timberwolves.
2. Joel Embiid
This season, Joel Embiid finally was totally healthy and was no longer under any minutes restriction. Therefore, Embiid finally got the chance to show what he was really worth, in every game. Everyone already thought he was great last season, but he managed to improve himself even more this season. As long as he manages to stay healthy, he is on his way to become one of the best players in the league. He’s a good isolation player, but can also shoot a decent three if left alone. Furthermore, he can be dominant on the offense as well as the defense, so that promises a lot for the future.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Antetokounmpo was already one of the MVP candidates last season, and he’s only 23 years old. That promises a lot for the rest of his NBA career. Furthermore, he’s has been compared to LeBron James since he entered the NBA, and as soon as he really develops an outside shot, he’ll be among the best in the league, if he isn’t already.