Ranking: The Top 25 players under 25

nba top 25 players under 25 luka doncic jayson tatum shai gilgeous-alexander

Ranking: The Top 25 players under 25

Ranking

Ranking: The Top 25 players under 25

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It’s hard to remember a time with as much dominant young talent as there is in the NBA today, with a true changing of the guard taking place in recent seasons.

For evidence, just look at the top two players in this very ranking right below, both frontrunners for 2022-23 MVP and both under 25 years old, one 23 and the other just 24.

So we decided, as we have done in other years, to rank the Top 25 players under the age of 25, as voted on by a panel of our writers and editors, an exercise that surely won’t ruffle any feathers.

Below, check out the results for HoopsHype’s Top 25 players under 25 for the 2022-23 NBA season.

1
Luka Doncic, 23 (Dallas)

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 33.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1.8 spg, 50.5 FG%

If not Tatum, the early favorite for MVP is Luka Doncic, and with good reason, as the league leader in scoring has been simply unreal in 2022-23, putting up a 33/8/8 stat line – which, if he maintains all season, by the way, would be the NBA’s first 33/8/8 campaign ever – and making the Dallas Mavericks 7.5 points per 100 possessions better during his time on the floor.

Doncic is tasked with carrying a huge load every night for Dallas, something he probably doesn’t mind all that much considering his ball-dominant style of play. Will that win the Mavericks a championship any time soon?

Without added help, we don’t see it, but it’s still a whole lot of fun to watch.

Either way, Doncic remains our best player under the age of 25. Even without the age-related benchmark, Doncic would likely finish highly in any sort of NBA player ranking, too.

For the latest Luka Doncic rumors and salary info, click here.

2
Jayson Tatum, 24 (Boston)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 31.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 3.5 3PTM, 48.8 FG%

Jayson Tatum has put it all together this campaign at an even higher level and is performing like one of the very best players in the world in 2022-23. Not only does he rank second in the NBA in scoring, but he’s also rebounding and creating at a high level, too, considering his scoring load, and making it rain from beyond the arc.

Even his defense has become a borderline strength, with Tatum playing the best two-way basketball of his career this season. That’s to go with his top-notch one-on-one scoring, where Tatum shines thanks to his tough shot-making, quick first step and solid ballhandling. Tatum sits in the top 20 percent of the NBA in isolation scoring, creating 1.10 PPP in the difficult play type.

Some of the advanced metrics may not fully appreciate him to that extent, with VORP and BPM ranking him as roughly a Top 10 player this year, but when you consider how much he’s doing on a nightly basis for the Celtics while leading the team to an 18-4 star this year, making them look like they’re on a level of their own in the championship race, you can see why many believe he’s the early-season MVP.

For the latest Jayson Tatum rumors and salary info, click here.

3
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 24 (Oklahoma City)

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

2022-23 stats: 31.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1.7 spg, 50.6 FG%

If not for the jump he has made this season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might have sat just outside of the Top 5 of this ranking. But the leap the Canadian ballhandler has made this year has almost been shocking, even despite how good he was before this season, as Gilgeous-Alexander has been every bit a superstar in 2022-23 for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Gilgeous-Alexander ranks sixth in the NBA in scoring this year, using an impossible-to-predict skillset as a ballhandler, one covered in crafty athleticism and herky-jerky movements that keep defenders guessing until he’s at the basket hitting yet another layup. He can also stop on a dime and knock down shots from the mid-range to the floater area, and even knock down threes at a nearly-respectable rate.

SGA has made Oklahoma City 6.1 points per 100 possessions better during his time on the floor in 2022-23 while he ranks sixth in the NBA in BPM and fifth in VORP. He’s been so good, in fact, that barring injury, there’s no doubt he’ll be an All-Star this season, and if he’s able to keep this level up all year, All-NBA is very much within his sights.

He’s been that unstoppable.

For the latest Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rumors and salary info, click here.

4
Ja Morant, 23 (Memphis)

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 28.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 7.6 apg, 1.8 3PTM, 46.8 FG%

One of the most electrifying players in the NBA today, Ja Morant is skilled, freakishly athletic, explosive and gives high effort on a nightly basis, making him one of the most entertaining players to watch whenever he’s on the hardwood.

Morant isn’t just putting up fantastic numbers – he’s one of three players with a 28/6/7 stat line in 2022-23 – he’s doing so efficiently, with BPM and VORP ranking him as a Top 12 player in the league this year. What’s more, unlike last season, the Grizzlies have been far better with Morant on the floor, as his swing rating is a career-high +14.3 points per 100 possessions, meaning Memphis is that much better with its superstar floor general in the game.

For the latest Ja Morant rumors and salary info, click here.

5
Trae Young, 24 (Atlanta)

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 27.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 9.6 apg, 2.2 3PTM, 41.1 FG%

Despite ranking 11th in the league in scoring and third in assists, Trae Young’s efficiency has fallen off a cliff this year, as he’s hitting just 30.3 percent of his triples on the season. Regardless, his impact remains positive for the Hawks, with Atlanta performing 4.6 points per 100 possessions better with Young on the floor.

Still, Atlanta will be hoping its superstar point guard will see his shot start to fall at the levels it once did, as the Hawks are a different beast with Young as is his most efficient. Part of his relatively slow start might have to do with acclimating to life with another high-usage ballhandler in Dejounte Murray, leading one to believe his numbers in the efficiency department will improve as the season progresses.

In all, Young is a proven star, who has done it in the playoffs and the regular season, and who is hugely productive on a nightly basis.

For the latest Trae Young rumors and salary info, click here.

6
Tyrese Haliburton, 22 (Indiana)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 19.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 11.2 apg, 1.8 spg, 46.9 FG%

One of the complaints many have about the NBA today is that the game has been overtaken not just by three-point shooting and a lack of defending, but also by robotic playmakers – with a lot of the jazz-like beauty of passing in basketball missing.

One player trying to reverse that trend is Tyrese Haliburton, one of the most creative, flashy floor generals the NBA has seen in a very long time, one who doesn’t only love setting up teammates, but loves doing so in an eye-catching manner, executing no-look passes often yet while rarely turning the ball over.

Haliburton, the league leader in nightly assists this year so far, just had a three-game stretch with 40 assists and zero turnovers. Yes, you read that correctly.

He isn’t just a playmaker, either, as Haliburton is also an efficient scorer and an impactful defender, putting his imprint all over basketball games every minute he’s on the floor. As a 22-year-old, Haliburton already ranks ninth in the NBA in WS/48 this year and eighth in BPM, outrageous marks for a player of his age and level of experience. 

Fox taking a leap this year will make Kings fans feel better, but it still feels like trading Haliburton could be looked back on as somewhat of a mistake one day. Either way, the Indiana Pacers have to feel fantastic about having landed one of the best pure point guards in recent NBA history in that swap.

For the latest Tyrese Haliburton rumors and salary info, click here.

7
Zion Williamson, 22 (New Orleans)

Zion Williamson driving the ball against two Hornets players

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 23.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg, 59.2 FG%

After missing all of last season as he nursed a foot injury, Zion Williamson got off to a bit of a slow start this year, at least by his monstrous standards. And even in spite of that, the ridiculously athletic big man has still put up a 23/6/4 stat line while shooting nearly 60.0 percent from the floor.

Even more promising is the fact his play has improved of late, too, with Williamson putting up 25.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over his last four games while shooting 68.3 percent from the field.

Williamson is simply a freak of nature, with elite strength and athleticism which allow him to finish just about everything near the paint and be extremely efficient as a scorer, despite his lack of shooting outside of the paint. In a world revolving heavily around three-point shooting, Williamson’s bully-ball game is a breath of fresh air, making him still one of the most exciting players to watch on a nightly basis.

Lest we forget, Williamson finished the early portion of his career as the best under-21 scorer in NBA history.

For the latest Zion Williamson rumors and salary info, click here.

8
De’Aaron Fox, 24 (Sacramento)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 24.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 38.9 3P%

Had we waited just three weeks to do this exercise, De’Aaron Fox would have missed the cut, as the former Kentucky standout is right about to turn 25. By the time you’re reading this, he might already have missed the cut.

But for now, Fox is technically under 25, so he checks in at No. 8 on our list – and with good reason, too, as the Sacramento Kings point guard is playing some of the best basketball of his career this year. Though he’s posted better raw statistics before, efficiency-wise, Fox has been better than ever in 2022-23, putting up a career-high mark in BPM (+4.8) and WS/48 (0.177) this year. That BPM mark places Fox 14th overall in the NBA this season, by the way.

A lot of that has to do with Fox shooting the three ball better than ever before, sinking nearly 39.0 percent of his triples. It’s not just a matter of Fox sinking those shots, either, but the fact that defenses can’t just go under every screen against the explosive point guard without paying has made him an all-around, even more hugely impactful player.

Will Fox be able to break the Kings’ historically long playoff drought? That will ultimately decide whether his season has been a success, but as of now, Fox has been performing like one of the NBA’s very best at the point-guard spot – there’s no denying that.

For the latest De’Aaron Fox rumors and salary info, click here.

9
Darius Garland, 22 (Cleveland)

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 22.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 8.1 apg, 1.3 spg, 41.8 3P%

Coming off the first All-Star season of his career, Darius Garland has continued to grow this year, putting up even better numbers thus far in 2022-23, both in the raw statistical sense and in the advanced metrics.

Garland has seen upticks in BPM (+2.6 to +3.8) and WS/48 (0.125 to 0.163), as he continues to get even more efficient and impactful despite his usage rate being higher than ever. The young Cavaliers guard is as smooth as they come, crafty in his ballhandling and creative in his playmaking, with an ability to shoot off the dribble from beyond the arc, making Garland a handful to defend.

His game is unique in that he’s a lead guard who can score at a high level but also get teammates involved just as much, and thanks to his presence, Cleveland’s future looks extremely promising.

For the latest Darius Garland rumors and salary info, click here.

10
Anthony Edwards, 21 (Minnesota)

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 22.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 46.2 FG%

Most everyone’s pick to be the NBA’s next top 2-guard in the game, Anthony Edwards has progressed year over year since being the No. 1 selection in the 2020 NBA draft, though without having yet taken that final leap that many are expecting out of him.

Either way, Edwards has all of the makings of a superstar at the off-ball guard spot, with an ability to score smoothly from all three levels and an explosive athleticism and strength reminiscent of a young Dwyane Wade. His efficiency remains a bit lacking and he has had a bit of a tough time with acclimating to playing with two 7-foot trees down low on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster right now.

As such, the advanced metrics continue to rate Edwards quite lowly, with VORP ranking him the league’s 180th-most-impactful player this year and BPM, the 148th, but the eye test continues to tell us Edwards is a star with the potential to be even more. We can’t forget either that Edwards is still just 21, with plenty of time to continue developing.

For the latest Anthony Edwards rumors and salary info, click here.

11
Tyrese Maxey, 22 (Philadelphia)

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 22.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 2.9 3PTM, 42.2 3PT%

It was surprising to see Tyrese Maxey fall to 21st in his draft class, and he has only made that event look even worse with his play over his first three NBA seasons.

Maxey is ultra-confident, lightning quick and has excellent wiggle, three attributes that make him extremely difficult to defend, particularly on the open floor but also out of the halfcourt. He can hit shots from all over the floor and act as a one-man transition threat whenever he catches a rebound. Maxey is one of the most productive transition players in the league, ranking in the 99th percentile in production out of the play type, producing an unreal 1.68 PPP on the open floor.

Already one of the best young guards in the game, Maxey just missed out on the Top 10 of these rankings but could very well make his way in there when we do this exercise again in a year or two.

For the latest Tyrese Maxey rumors and salary info, click here.

12
Desmond Bane, 24 (Memphis)

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 24.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, 3.8 3PTM, 45.1 3PT%

Desmond Bane’s development over his time in the NBA has been nothing short of incredible, as the Memphis Grizzlies 2-guard went from a late first-round pick to a shooting specialist in a small role to one of the top off-ball guards in basketball.

What’s certain is that Bane has blossomed into more than just a spot shooter, as he’s scoring off the dribble, getting to the basket and finishing in traffic while rebounding and playmaking at very high levels for his position. And he’s doing that while still hitting 45.1 percent of his threes, the second-best mark in the league among players with at least six nightly attempts from deep. 

Bane ranks 16th this season in BPM and 28th in VORP, proving that he’s been one of the top players in the league when healthy. 

We’ll see if Bane has another leap in him but even if he maintains at this level for the upcoming future, the Grizzlies have one of the top shooting guards in the game on their hands, one that has helped them form one of the best backcourts in the league along with a player coming up in the Top 5 of these rankings.

For the latest Desmond Bane rumors and salary info, click here.

13
Paolo Banchero, 20 (Orlando)

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 22.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 45.8 FG%

This time next year, there’s a strong possibility Paolo Banchero will sit even higher up these rankings, as the young Magic 4-man is an exciting player, undoubtedly one with a very bright future.

With a bit of a throwback game built around face-up scoring out of the mid-range, Banchero stands at 6-foot-10 but plays like a wing while being a strong rebounder and playmaker for his position. Banchero’s feel for the game is excellent and as long as he improves on his three-point shooting, the sky will be the limit for him.

Banchero’s ceiling is that of a 1A or 1B option on a high-level playoff team, and we’re confident in saying that despite him not even being 21 yet. If anything, the fact he’s already this good at 20 only makes us more comfortable saying that.

For the latest Paolo Banchero rumors and salary info, click here.

14
LaMelo Ball, 21 (Charlotte)

Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 19.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 7.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 41.5 FG%

Former Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball has yet to get it going this season due to injuries and yet, he’s still putting up respectable averages of 19 points and seven assists nightly, which speaks to his talent level.

Our voters likely suffered with some recency bias here, as had Ball been fully healthy this year and been able to build on his 20.1/6.7/7.6 averages from last year, he almost certainly would have cracked the Top 10 of this ranking.

Regardless, Ball is a thrilling talent with an old-school, flashy flair to his game, one that is lacking among his various counterparts playing lead guard for other teams. Ball can knock down shots from all over the floor, over tough defending and off the dribble, as well as set up his teammates for easy looks in the most exciting way possible. 

In Ball, the Charlotte Hornets have a building block on their roster.

For the latest LaMelo Ball rumors and salary info, click here.

15
Evan Mobley, 21 (Cleveland)

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.4 bpg, 55.5 FG%

Though he hasn’t taken the sophomore leap many were expecting, Evan Mobley remains one of the most promising young bigs in basketball, a unique unicorn-type with high skill and top-notch defending abilities, and not just around the rim.

What’s more, although the raw statistics don’t indicate some major jump in play by Mobley, the advanced metrics paint a different picture, with the USC product improving in BPM (0.6 to 1.6), WS/48 (0.107 to 0.150) and PER (16.1 to 17.4) in 2022-23. 

Somewhat concerning and difficult to explain, however, is the fact that Mobley’s impact hasn’t just been negative (statistically) this year, it’s been glaringly in the red, with the Cleveland Cavaliers performing 17.8 points per 100 possessions worse with the big man on the floor.

Even so, Mobley is a major talent, one that Cavaliers fans should be excited about, as few big men can match his ballhandling, playmaking and mid-range scoring, especially not with his size and length.

For the latest Evan Mobley rumors and salary info, click here.

16
Scottie Barnes, 21 (Toronto)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 14.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 0.9 spg, 43.7 FG%

Orlando fans may take umbrage with this one, as there has often been debate online about who is better between Wagner and Scottie Barnes, two of the top young wings out of the 2021 NBA draft, both of whom were taken within four picks of each other.

But Barnes just edged out Wagner on our list based on our voters’ rankings, a race that was very close. Barnes is experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump, with his scoring (15.3 points per game as a rookie) and efficiency (he shot 49.2 percent from the floor in his inaugural season), and with Barnes even being asked to come off the bench recently for the Toronto Raptors.

But his upside remains huge, as few 6-foot-9 wings have his blend of size, length, ballhandling and skill as a playmaker, nor is his defensive effort and impact all that normal for a 21-year-old. Barnes will just need to keep working on his outside shooting, which has improved to an almost-respectable 34.8 percent this season, up from 30.1 percent in his first year, while learning how to be more aggressive as a scorer.

Nevertheless, Barnes has tantalizing upside and can be used in a variety of ways on both ends of the floor, so even though his scoring has left Raptors fans wanting this year, Toronto still has plenty to be excited about with its former Florida State standout.

For the latest Scottie Barnes rumors and salary info, click here.

17
Franz Wagner, 21 (Orlando)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 19.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.2 3PTM, 50.0 FG%

A smooth swingman with a pretty floater game and an ability to get to the cup and finish, Franz Wagner has blossomed into a very interesting young piece for the Orlando Magic. Wagner has the makings of a Swiss Army knife for Orlando, a player who can do a bit of everything on top of scoring nearly 20 per game.

His three-point shooting is inconsistent to say the least, with Wagner hitting just 34.6 percent of his threes over his two NBA seasons, but he’s got such a unique, smooth game out of the mid-range thanks to his ballhandling and soft touch around the rim, that it’s a weakness that hasn’t done much to derail his game as of yet.

On top of that, Wagner can rebound and create for teammates on the wing, too, and has been a positive-impact player for the Magic over his two seasons, making Orlando 7.4 points per 100 possessions better during his time in Central Florida.

Spoiler alert: This isn’t the last Orlando player you’ll see on this list.

For the latest Franz Wagner rumors and salary info, click here.

18
Cade Cunningham, 21 (Detroit)

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 19.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 6.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 41.9 FG%

Injuries have been the story this year for former No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, as the talented young ballhandler has already missed a good portion of the season without a target return date announced as of yet.

Had he stayed healthy, might Cunningham have ranked higher on this list? Certainly, as just this year, Cunningham was on his way to becoming one of just five players 21 or younger to put up a 19/6/6 stat line, joining the likes of LeBron James and Magic Johnson on the list, along with the player who finished first in this very ranking.

The Oklahoma State Cowboy can get buckets -– though not very efficiently as of yet in the NBA – rebound and create for teammates while standing 6-foot-6. His finishing down low and outside shooting need improvement, but there’s no question Cunningham has special potential as he continues to figure the NBA game out.

For the latest Cade Cunningham rumors and salary info, click here.

19
Jarrett Allen, 24 (Cleveland)

Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 13.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 bpg, 58.8 FG%

Coming off his first All-Star campaign, few would argue that Jarrett Allen has also been a bit disappointing this season, with his scoring efficiency down from last season’s 58.8 field-goal percentage and his scoring down from 16.1 points nightly. 

Even so, his impact statistically has been even better this year than last, with the Cleveland Cavaliers 6.9 points per 100 possessions better with Allen on the floor. That number was +4.2 in 2021-22. Allen also remains an elite rebounder, a good shot-blocker and an impressive finisher around the basket.

However, it must be noted his finishing out of the pick-and-roll, a former major strength of his, is down this year, with Allen sitting in the league’s 50th percentile on the play type, producing just 1.21 PPP. The Cavs will certainly hope Allen gets back to his former levels out of that set, as last year, Allen was creating 1.28 PPP out of the pick-and-roll, which may not seem like much of a difference, but it’s actually enough for Allen to have ranked in the NBA’s 78th percentile last year in the play type.

Regardless, in Allen, Cleveland has one of the brightest young centers in the league, and a reliable starting big down low.

For the latest Jarrett Allen rumors and salary info, click here.

20
Tyler Herro, 22 (Miami)

Musselman-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 18.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.4 3PTM, 33.7 3PT%

Injuries have caused Tyler Herro to get off to a slower star than expected in 2022-23, with the Heat shooting guard hitting a career-low 33.7 percent of his three-point looks and his efficiency elsewhere likewise lacking.

Life as a full-time starter also has Herro trying to find his way a bit, as things were easier for the former Kentucky Wildcat coming off the bench and having a green light to shoot alongside reserves and against second-team options. Now, tasked with finding his spots while playing with the likes of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, that green light has looked more yellow for Herro.

Still, he remains a solid scorer and playmaker and a great rebounder for his position, and with his shooting stroke and confidence, his marks should improve as his health does. 

For the latest Tyler Herro rumors and salary info, click here.

21
Anfernee Simons, 23 (Portland)

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 23.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 4.2 3PTM, 38.3 3PT%

At times looking like Damian Lillard Lite in 2022-23, Anfernee Simons has been one of the most exciting young guards in basketball this season, performing at a level that has made the trade of CJ McCollum sting far less for fans of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Simons can knock down jumpers –  and from deep – off the dribble, and has the burst and wiggle needed to get to the rack and finish among the threes on occasion, too, keeping defenses totally honest when guarding him. 

Both VORP and BPM rank Simons as roughly a Top 75 player in the league in 2022-23, an impressive mark for not only a player as young as the Florida native, but for one whose main focus on the floor is to get buckets. Usually, those types of score-first guys who shoot from all over the floor don’t get rated all that glowingly by the advanced metrics, so for Simons to already grade out that well as a 23-year-old really says something.

Portland could have another star lead guard on its hands.

For the latest Anfernee Simons rumors and salary info, click here.

22
Deandre Ayton, 24 (Phoenix)

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 16.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.7 bpg, 60.6 FG%

Although his play has been overall disappointing so far this year, Deandre Ayton remains one the better young centers in the league, a double-double machine who can make a serious impact on both ends, at least when he’s fully engaged.

It’s not as big of a problem as it has been in the past, but there’s no question Ayton hits another level when he’s fully on, as he becomes impossible to keep off the offensive glass, as he hits mid-range jumpers to take pressure off of his two-star teammates in the backcourt and as he dunks everything near the rim.

Still, we haven’t seen that Ayton enough this season, as he currently sits in the NBA’s 23rd percentile as a finisher out of the pick-and-roll, creating just 1.00 points per possession (PPP) on the play type, which should be a strength of his. For the Phoenix Suns to get back to the NBA Finals, they’re going to need that peak version of the former No. 1 overall pick and not the version we’ve seen in 2022-23 to this point.

For the latest Deandre Ayton rumors and salary info, click here.

23
Bennedict Mathurin, 20 (Indiana)

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2022-23 stats: 19.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.4 3PTM, 41.7 3P%

Expected by just about everyone to struggle this season as they rebuild, the Indiana Pacers are off to an awfully impressive start at 12-8 through 20 games, and a lot of that has to do with their impressive youth, namely, Bennedict Mathurin, the No. 6 pick in the last draft.

Mathurin has been a smooth bucket-getter so far for Indiana, with an ability to knock down shots from all over the floor, including from three, off the dribble. His smooth ballhandling and nose for scoring have also made him a force at getting to the bucket and finishing around the rim, too, at all of 20 years old.

His efficiency will have to improve, but there’s no question the Pacers have an impressive, promising young talent in Mathurin, and a building block for their future thanks to his crafty three-level scoring.

For the latest Bennedict Mathurin rumors and salary info, click here.

24
Jordan Poole, 23 (Golden State)

Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

2022-23 stats: 15.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.6 apg, 2.1 3PTM, 41.5 FG%

At this time last year, there’s no doubt 2-guard Jordan Poole would have fared far more kindly in this exercise. But his supremely disappointing 2022-23 (so far) has caused his stock to plummet in the eyes of our voters.

Poole’s efficiency has fallen off a cliff, with the 23-year-old shooting just 30.5 percent from three this year, down from 36.4 percent the year prior, while his defense remains as lacking as ever. Poole is still getting his creative, smooth buckets as a one-on-one attacker, but overall, his impact on the floor has actually been negative for the Golden State Warriors.

Poole’s BPM is down to -3.4 this year, the 19th-worst mark in the NBA, while the Warriors have been 15.8 points per 100 possessions worse with Poole on the floor this year, an almost shocking number.

For Golden State to repeat in its current rendition, it is going to need much more from its 2-guard extraordinaire.

For the latest Jordan Poole rumors and salary info, click here.

25
Keldon Johnson, 23 (San Antonio)

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 stats: 20.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.1 3PTM, 36.5 3PT%

Despite being in his fourth season in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs swingman Keldon Johnson is still just 23 years old, a surprise considering it feels like he’s been around forever. Johnson continues to improve year over year, with 2022-23 being his most impressive statistical campaign yet behind career-high averages in points (20.4) and assists (3.0). 

However, in his bigger role and without a reliable point guard to set him up, Johnson’s efficiency has suffered as the former Kentucky standout is shooting a career-low 40.4 percent from the floor this year. Johnson, a natural slasher to the bucket, hasn’t had a teammate in the backcourt with the ability to feed him easy looks on off-ball cuts.

Still, Johnson continues to score at a high level and is knocking down a whole lot of threes this year and that, plus his solid defense and rebounding, make him an interesting swingman to watch going forward.

For the latest Keldon Johnson rumors and salary info, click here.

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