U-25 stars: Doncic is number 1 and Zion and Ben Simmons fall

Hoopshype elaborates a ranking with nine executives about the young stars of the NBA: Doncic would be chosen as a franchise player.


Interesting proposal from Hoopshype, which has spoken anonymously with 15 talent evaluators in the NBA (four general managers, six executives and five members of scouting teams) to choose which are the best players under 25 years of age at a time of the League in which the arrival of a new generation of young stars is perceived. The results are not very surprising in terms of the number 1 that Luka Doncic has earned, the Slovenian who came to the NBA from Real Madrid. But it does get a lot of attention, on a roster filled with a tremendous level of talent, as Zion Williamson (acclaimed No. 1 in the 2019 draft) sinks to seventh. This is the ranking prepared by Hoopshype after computing the votes of those consulted:

1. LUKA DONCIC (DALLAS MAVERICKS): “For me it is the first without a doubt. He can drive the ball, he scores, he creates for his teammates, he's very smart and has the right mindset. He has always been a winner in all the places he has been and he will surely be in this League ”, says one of those surveyed. Doncic (21 years old) has marveled at his second season, in which he has debuted as an all star and has crept into the NBA's Best Quintet, something that no one as a rookie or sophomore has achieved since Tim Duncan in 1999. Later, he directed to some injured Mavericks in an epic playoff tie against the Clippers (4-2 for Los Angeles. ”“ He's the kind of player who does everything and makes everyone better. His production for his age seems unreal. Score like James Harden but he plays with a more collective mentality. He is one of the most fun players to watch, "says another evaluator.

2. JAYSON TATUM (BOSTON CELTICS): The forward tries to get the Celtics into the NBA Finals (tomorrow he plays the fourth game of the East final against the Heat) and is already a great star who has also debuted as All star this season in which, at 22, he has averaged 23.4 points and 7 rebounds per game. "He improves in each game he plays, he is becoming a superstar", they say of him, that this season not only has he definitely shot up as a scorer but he has also managed to improve a lot as a defender: "He is an all-terrain player who is already better than Paul George. He can penetrate, hits triples after bounce, defends the best perimeter player on the rival team… ”. Tatum was No. 3 in the 2017 draft. Two guards were chosen before: Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers) and Lonzo Ball (Los Angeles Lakers) .

. DEVIN BOOKER (PHOENIX SUNS): The guard has been confirmed this season, and has ratified it with a brilliant performance in the Florida bubble, as one of the great scorers in the League and also as an increasingly franchise player solid. He is 23 years old, has been in the NBA since 2015 (number 13 in the draft) and has also debuted as an all star this season, in which he has averaged 26.6 points and 6.5 assists per game. In the bubble, the Suns won all eight of their games and Booker had 30.5 points a night. One of the best on this list in attack, respondents continue to question his poor defensive ability.

4. JA MORANT (MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES): The Rookie of the Year (chosen with the number 2 behind Zion Williamson, has dazzled in Memphis: almost 18 points and more than 7 assists per game with only 21 years in his first season in the In the NBA, in which he has been on the verge of taking a rebuilding Grizzlies to the playoffs who were finally left out in the play in against the Portland Trail Blazers, he is compared to the first Russell Westbrook by physique: “He has the maximum speed and explosiveness that you could ask for from a point guard. No team has surprised more this year than the Grizzlies thanks to him. ”

5. DONOVAN MITCHELL (UTAH JAZZ): Number 13 in 2017, Jayson Tatum's draft, Mitchell (24 years old) is the fourth of this top 5 (all but Morant) who debuted this year in Chicago as an all star. The Jazz guard rose to the top of the tremendous first-round series against the Nuggets, in which he averaged 36.3 points (with 51% from 3-pointers), 5 assists and 5 rebounds, although he could not prevent his team from losing. finally let go 1-3 in favor. "He can score at will and has a lot of defensive potential."

6. BAM ADEBAYO (MIAMI HEAT): The pivot (23 years old, number 14 in the 2017 draft), has also debuted as an all star and is also breaking star in these playoffs, in which his Heat are (2-1 in favor against the Celtics) two wins away from becoming a very surprising NBA finalist. The former Kentucky player is a tremendous defender and a smart attacking player capable of creating game for his teammates. An interior with an imposing physique and ideal for the current form of the NBA game: “It is the future of the center position. Combine strength, toughness and talent. He defends centers and bases, and you can make your attack go through him because of his ability to dribble and pass ”. In the Most Improved Player award, he finished second behind Brandon Ingram and ahead of Doncic.

7. ZION WILLIAMSON (NEW ORLEANS PELICANS): The number 1 in the 2019 draft, and perhaps the most anticipated player in the NBA since LeBron James, falls on this list to seventh place. His knee problems, some defensive gaps, a form that did not always seem optimal, the bad collective season of the Pelicans ... In any case, he is still 20 years old and in his best moments of the course he showed that he can be a very special player in the NBA: “Near the rim is special, he has an elite level finishing plays. Physically he is very dominant. His shooting shouldn't end up being a problem, but we'll see. The problem is that I think he will always have physical problems ”. This is how Zion's situation is defined in Hoopshype after just one season in the NBA. There are few who share this assessment. "I did not like how he moved in the bubble games," says another of the evaluators.

8. JAMAL MURRAY (DENVER NUGGETS): At 23 years old, the number 7 in the 2016 draft has already signed his multi-million dollar extension with the Nuggets but it is now, in the bubble playoffs, when he is finally breaking star. With a supreme level, he has led together with Nikola Jokic a team that has come back from 3-1 against Jazz and Clippers, and now loses 2-0 to the Lakers but was close (Anthony Davis avoided it on the horn ) to win the second game. In these playoffs he averages 26.7 points with almost 50% in triples. It has not yet been released as an all star. “I love how he has handled the pressure of the playoffs. He is doing great things with the great lights shining at their maximum ”, they say of him:“ he has a killer mentality ”.

9. BEN SIMMONS (PHILADELPHIA 76ERS): 24 years old and already twice all-star, Simmons' fall (number 1 in the 2016 draft) is another of the big surprises on the list. Or not so much: He has missed the playoffs through injury, he continues to fix his shooting problems and the Sixers do not take off despite having him and Joel Embiid. However, he is still a special player, tremendous in defense and with a spectacular vision of the game: "When he came to the NBA they compared him to Magic Johnson, which is blasphemy."

9. BRANDON INGRAM (NEW ORLEANS PELICANS): Number 2 in 2016 behind Simmons, in 2020 he has also debuted as an all star and has won the Most Improved Player award. It was the great piece that the Pelicans received in the transfer of Anthony Davis to the Lakers and he is expected to sign a maximum contract after this season: “He is one of those special talents who with more than two meters can play shooting guard, forward and power forward. He is a great scorer who has evolved a lot in the last two seasons ”. In this past season he has averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

10. JAYLEN BROWN (BOSTON CELTICS): 23 years old and third in the 2016 draft behind Simmons and Ingram, he is already a star in the burgeoning Celtics who can return to the NBA Finals in the Florida bubble. 20.3 points on average with increasing shooting efficiency and easier ball handling. Many see him as the perfect complement to Jayson Tatum for many years of success in the Celtics.

After the Celtics forward and this top 10, the Hoopshype list is closed by point guard De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) and center Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), a number 1 in the draft (2015) who has already been twice all star.

Photos from as.com
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