We’ve seen Rockets and Thunder fans take to social media to determine which of the two franchises has the best, or at least the most promising, young core. Spoiler alert: neither team will win a title in the next 7 years. Joking aside, the question is interesting and we looked into the subject. So we tried to put together a top-15 of young projects in the NBA.
Some rules :
– A super talent is better than several future All-Stars. This is very often how it works. Especially when it comes to going all the way in the NBA. 90% of the teams crowned champions had in their ranks one of the five or ten best players in the league. It is still necessary to know which are the young people brought to integrate this gratin one day.
– By young player, we only retain those who will be under 25 at the start of the season.
– Age is not everything. Younger sometimes means more untapped potential, but that doesn’t necessarily make the difference.
– The personality of the players is taken into account. At least the perception that we have of their personality. Because their character will inevitably have consequences on the evolution of their career.
– The fit ! Having 10 youngsters is great. But if they all play in the same position, it’s useless.
– We look at the Achievements so far. Yeah, it definitely weighed a bit. If a team has already won, that’s a good sign.
– The staff and management matter. We have already seen a lot of talents who did not develop because they were in the wrong environment.
15. Charlotte Hornets
Young Nucleus : LaMelo Ball (21 ans*), PJ Washington (24 ans*), James Bouknight (22 ans*), Mark Williams (20 ans), Kai Jones (21 ans), Jalen McDaniels (24 ans).
LaMelo Ball is a hit but the whole hard core remains light to really claim a brilliant future.
14. Portland Trail Blazers
Young Nucleus : Anfernee Simons (23 ans), Shaedon Sharpe (19 ans), Nassir Little (22 ans), Keon Johnson (20 ans).
It’s stronger than it looks. Hoping that Shaedon Sharpe can confirm all the potential that we attribute to him. And in this case, hello the damage.
13. Indiana Pacers
Young Nucleus : Tyrese Haliburton (22 ans), Bennedict Mathurin (20 ans), Jalen Smith (22 ans).
We have to see what the Haliburton-Mathurin backcourt can give but frankly it slaps on paper.
12. Toronto Raptors
Young Nucleus: Gary Trent Jr (23), Scottie Barnes (21), Precious Achiuwa (22), Malachi Flynn (24), Dalano Banton (22), Justin Champagnie (21).
The Raptors often feel underestimated and it’s true that their young hard core is not often put forward despite very interesting profiles. It’s just that there may be even stronger ahead. Or not for that matter.
11. Orlando Magic
Young Nucleus: Markelle Fultz (24), Paolo Banchero (19), Wendell Carter Jr (23), Mo Bamba (24), Jalen Suggs (21), Cole Anthony (22), Franz Wagner (20 years), Chuma Okeke (23 years).
That’s a lot of people! The Magic has crashed year after year but the talent is accumulating. Perhaps the engine capable of bringing the franchise back up was missing. Paolo Banchero, first in the last draft, is head of employment.