It’s time for another edition of our Top 25 Players Under 25 rankings, which we’ve done in years past.
The name that finished at the top of this list shouldn’t come as a surprise, though his stranglehold on the top spot isn’t as strong as it once was.
Below, check out the full rankings, which we’re sure you’ll take no umbrage with.
Luka Doncic, Dallas (22 years)
2021-22 stats: 24.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 8.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 44.5 FG%
The top player in our rankings for the second year in a row, Luka Doncic maintains his pole position as the best player under 25 years old, although his hold on the matter is more strenuous than in years past due to him not making the leap many expected this season. Even so, most players would give an arm to put up a 25/8/8 stat line like Doncic is this year, so even in a relatively down season, he’s still dominant when he is on the floor.
Trae Young, Atlanta (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 28.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 9.5 apg, 2.8 3PTM, 46.0 FG%
Trae Young will always be tied to Doncic due to do draft night trade from 2018, but the exciting sharpshooter has beyond made a name for himself by this point, becoming one of the best point guards in basketball. Young has already led the Atlanta Hawks to an Eastern Conference Finals, and as long as he’s around, the Georgia franchise will remain contenders in the East for years to come thanks to his shooting, floater game and vision as a playmaker.
Ja Morant, Memphis (22 years)
2021-22 stats: 25.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 6.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 48.9 FG%
A player shooting up these rankings, Ja Morant is currently posting the best season of his career thanks to improving his outside shooting to over 38.0 percent accuracy, and also due to his unreal explosiveness as a rim attacker. The lightning-quick Morant has become one of the most exciting players to watch in basketball on a nightly basis.
Jayson Tatum, Boston (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 25.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.8 3PTM, 41.7 FG%
A big-name player that Morant has surpassed on his ascension to the No. 3 spot in our rankings is Jayson Tatum, who remains one of the top forwards in basketball with an unstoppable face-up mid-range game and accurate three-point shooting… but hasn’t quite taken the next step into the full-blown superstardom many thought he’d be by now.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans (21 years)
2021-22 stats: N/A
Zion Williamson ranks so highly on this list based on reputation and his sophomore year contributions, as he has yet to hit the floor in 2021-22, without clarity as to when that might happen, either. When Williamson is out there, he’s a wrecking ball, using an unreal first step to blow by defenders and massive size and otherworldly explosiveness to finish at a ridiculous level near the basket.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte (20 years)
2021-22 stats: 19.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 7.6 apg, 1.8 spg, 42.5 FG%
Another young point guard making his way up these rankings, LaMelo Ball has quickly become must-watch theater, thanks to his deep shooting range and unnaturally gifted vision as a passer. His numbers, hovering around a 20/8/8 stat line, are far from empty, too, as Ball has turned the Charlotte Hornets into a serious threat in the East merely with his presence.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 22.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.8 3PTM, 41.8 FG%
The enigmatic Shai Gilgeous-Alexander possesses a funky, unique, extremely difficult-to-guard game tailor-made to dominate in 2021-22. His ball-handling and elusiveness as a driver make him impossible to stop, as does his pull-up shooting prowess.
Bam Adebayo, Miami (24 years)
2021-22 stats: 18.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 51.9 FG%
Despite missing time this season due to injury, Bam Adebayo is an excellent modern big man with ball-handling and passing chops befitting a guard. Although he doesn’t stretch the floor from three, Adebayo can knock down mid-range jumpers with the best of them, even off the dribble, and his explosiveness makes him an excellent finisher down low.
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 17.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.5 bpg, 70.2 FG%
A shot-blocking, rebounding menace, Jarrett Allen has helped turn the Cleveland Cavaliers around this season. Although Allen’s game is somewhat simple, he’s so good at what he does – setting screens, rolling to the basket and finishing – that he’s one of the top centers in the game, regardless of age.
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 17.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.8 bpg, 62.6 FG%
Now that effort is no longer as much of an issue with him, Deandre Ayton has stretches where he dominates for the Phoenix Suns, with a fearsome post game and the ability to finish with either hand down low. Ayton also excels as a rebounder and has improved leaps and bounds with his impact defensively.
Darius Garland, Cleveland (21 years)
2021-22 stats: 19.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 7.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 47.2 FG%
Arguably the breakout player of 2021-22, Darius Garland has blossomed into almost a Damian Lillard lite, with deep shooting range, the finesse to hit shots off the dribble and score from all three levels. Garland is also an impressive playmaker, giving him the makings of a future star at the point guard spot in the NBA.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota (20 years)
2021-22 stats: 22.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 43.8 FG%
One of the most explosive players in the game today, Anthony Edwards looks to be next in line for the honor of top 2-guard in basketball based on the trajectory he’s on. Edwards can score from all three levels with a plane of brash confidence rarely seen from players his age, and has the ability to throw down monster dunks over anyone.
Jamal Murray, Denver (24 years)
2021-22 stats: N/A
Another player on this list based solely on reputation and past performance, Jamal Murray is expected to return at some point this season, which is why we decided to include him in our rankings. Consistency is just about his only fault, as Murray has stepped up for huge performances in the playoffs and has a level of shot-making at the point guard spot that makes him standout at a crowded position.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans (24 years)
2021-22 stats: 22.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.6 3PTM, 43.7 FG%
A do-it-all swingman, Brandon Ingram is a high-level scorer who can also rebound and distribute at healthy rates. With unreal length and size for his position, Ingram can hit shots over the highest of contests and can change direction at the drop of a dime.
Evan Mobley, Cleveland (20 years)
2021-22 stats: 14.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.8 bpg, 50.1 FG%
Arguably the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, Evan Mobley has special written all over him, as he is already an elite impact player as a defender thanks to his shot-blocking. Mobley also possesses extremely rare skills as a big man, able to handle the ball, create for others and shoot jumpers at a high level.
De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento (24 years)
2021-22 stats: 20.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 44.9 FG%
The ever-explosive De’Aaron Fox never took the leap to superstardom that some thought he may possess, but he’s still one of the best young point guards in the West, no small feat. Fox is considered one of the fastest players in the league and has the ball-handling to do a ton of damage in the halfcourt as well. His only problem remains his shooting, or lack thereof.
John Collins, Atlanta (24 years)
2021-22 stats: 17.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 bpg, 54.9 FG%
A prototypical modern big man thanks to his outside shooting, John Collins is a menace inside as well thanks to his freakish athleticism, which allows him to finish through contact, and above it. Collins, a pick-and-roll monster, is also a very capable shooter from the outside.
Miles Bridges, Charlotte (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 19.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 47.3 FG%
Currently enjoying a career season, the southpaw swingman Miles Bridges is one of the fiercest dunkers in the game but has developed the rest of his game to match his dunking abilities. Bridges can space the floor from the outside, slash to the basket off the ball and finish down low at impressive rates.
Lonzo Ball, Chicago (24 years)
2021-22 stats: 12.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.8 spg, 41.1 FG%
Though not a superstar, Lonzo Ball has turned into a very solid point guard in his own right, one who has worked hard to make himself a trustworthy three-point shooter, and who can create plays for others with the best of them. Ball is also a very underrated defender, who uses his instincts and length impressively on that end.
Scottie Barnes, Toronto (20 years)
2021-22 stats: 15.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 49.4 FG%
If not for Mobley, Scottie Barnes would be favorite for Rookie of the Year honors this season, as his go-go-gadget arms and feel for the game are unmatched among his first-year peers. Barnes is also always willing to put his body on the line and make winning plays, too, something that’s often not that common for players with his pedigree dating back to his days as a high school prospect.
Jaren Jackson Jr, Memphis (22 years)
2021-22 stats: 16.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.8 bpg, 40.7 FG%
A unique big man due to his lack of rebounding but overall positive impact anyway, Jaren Jackson Jr. excels as an outside shooter and as a driver of the basketball with the rock in his hands. Jackson also uses his quick feet well defensively, where he doesn’t get overly exposed when asked to switch while also possessing great timing as a shot blocker.
Tyler Herro, Miami (21 years)
2021-22 stats: 20.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.7 3PTM, 43.0 FG%
A bucket-getting 2-guard, Tyler Herro plays with loads of confidence and can hit shots from all over the floor. Currently enjoying a career year, Herro can even finish around the basket despite his lack of size. Overall, he’s at his best crossing foes over and hit jumpers off the dribble.
Jordan Poole, Golden State (22 years)
2021-22 stats: 18.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.7 3PTM, 45.4 FG%
Jordan Poole has stepped up in a major way this season for the Golden State Warriors in the continued absence of Klay Thompson, playing second fiddle to Stephen Curry in the team’s backcourt wonderfully, knocking down threes and getting to the cup with aplomb.
Desmond Bane, Memphis (23 years)
2021-22 stats: 17.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 46.6 FG%
In modern basketball, shooting is the name of the game and Desmond Bane fills that skill set beautifully. Through two seasons, Bane is hitting 41.6 percent of his outside attempts. He also has the feel for the game to attack closeouts and to score in other ways than just as a spot-up shooter, making him a very promising piece for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia (21 years)
2021-22 stats: 16.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.3 3PTM, 47.3 FG%
Quick, explosive and energetic, Tyrese Maxey has been a fantastic young member of the Philadelphia 76ers over his two seasons with the club, as he has the upside to be a high-level starter for the team for years to come thanks to his shooting, his crossover and his nose for scoring the basketball from all three levels.