The future of the NBA is bright. It’s safe to say the league is in good hands for the upcoming years.
These players grew up looking up to the living legends such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. Even though these guys were the face of the NBA for the past couple of years, the young guys are catching up to fame quickly.
It’s not easy, by all means, to make this list. The young players who enter the league each year improve. Not only are the players about to be named already becoming the faces of their franchises and having impressive careers, many other players in this same category are as well.
The Five Best Under 24 in the NBA
Before we begin with the best five players, we need to give recognition to some names that won’t be mentioned.
At 22, LaMelo is only just beginning in the NBA. The main reason why he is out of this list is simply injuries. Specifically, ankle injuries have altered this season and last season for Ball. Although, when he is on the court, he is showing his true talent, he needs to gain better health and see more games played in a season.
He has Rookie of the Year honors and an All-Star selection on his resume, along with being one of the best passers in the league. Even though he is the face of the Charlotte Hornets, he has not impacted their drought of being one of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference. This season, the team has only won 10 games out of 48 and sits at number 13 in the Eastern Conference standings.
Whether you like it or not, Holmgren is a better player than Victor Wembanyama. He scores the ball way more efficiently and is an elite defensive rim protector. It’s rare to see a seven-footer who can shoot the three-ball as well as Chet can. He is currently 38% from three-point, which is even better than some guards around the league.
As a team, the OKC Thunder are serious playoff contenders this season, and it is a huge part because of Chet. Only at the age of 21 is Chet beginning his remarkable career.
Now, let’s get into the top five.
Once again, we are looking at a player struggling to stay healthy and in shape. He is a star in this league, averaging 22.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game this season on a winning Pelicans team ranked seventh in the Western Conference.
Williamson has had trouble winning postseason awards because of his injuries; however, he still plays at an All-Star level. Going into Duke with all the hype that he did, many would say that his performance in the NBA has been a disappointment. But it took him time to settle and get the hang of things to show his talent and consistency again.
4. Tyrese Maxey
The Philadelphia 76ers hit a gold mine when they drafted Maxey in 2020. In his fourth year in the NBA, he has increased his scoring average each year and has only shown improvement on the court. His speed and shooting make him almost unguardable on offense, along with his elite playmaking skills. He is shooting a solid 45.1% from the field this season.
As the Sixers lost hope with Joel Embiid‘s injury this season, they are looking towards Maxey to hold them together to make a deep playoff run come postseason.
The No.1 pick back in 2022 is already making his first All-Star appearance only in his second season. A significant standout from Banchero this season was how he improved his three-point shooting.
Last season, he shot 29% from behind the arc, while this season, he is shooting an improved 36%. Banchero’s skill and athleticism give him a decisive advantage over defenders, and he uses his size to get into the paint efficiently. On an Orlando Magic team competing for playoff contention, he has shown to be the face of the organization and a big reason why the Magic are No. 7 in the Eastern Conference and right on edge to playoff contenders.
Edwards is taking the league by storm only at 22 years old. He has led the Minnesota Timberwolves to the top seed in the Western Conference and to a winning season, which the organization has not seen much of in recent years.
It’s scary but true to say that Edwards is not even close to reaching his prime yet, which shows how much potential he has. Averaging 25.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game, all while keeping a team as a top seed, is extremely impressive for the young player. He has also made his second All-Star appearance in his short career.
Since Haliburton was traded to the Indiana Pacers from the Sacramento Kings, we have seen him rapidly growing into a talented young superstar player in the NBA. This year, he is also one of the Eastern Conference All-Star starters while making his second All-Star Game appearance.
Along with his time with Team USA this past summer, he led the Pacers to the In-Season Tournament championship, which they lost in a thrilling game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Haliburton has proved to be an exhilarating player while leading a bright, young Pacers team. As a true point guard, he has shown the importance of playmaking by averaging 11.8 assists per game and only 2.4 turnovers.
He is if not one of the best young players in the NBA, then the best.