10 very good young NBA players who are a hit in silence


PJ Washington (Charlotte Hornets)

The rebound season for PJ Washington. A little behind last year, when his explosion was expected, the 24-year-old winger is taking advantage of the departure of Miles Bridges – who no one signed after he was accused of hitting his wife – to find playing time and boost your stats. 16 points and 5 assists average. But hey, the Hornets suck.

Austin Reaves (Los Angeles Lakers)

The Lakers’ new Alex Caruso. The match is a little easy: an undrafted white player who comes out of nowhere and makes his place in the rotation by playing hard. But the profiles are still a little different. Austin Reaves is more attacking and his outside skill is very valuable for Los Angeles. He simply became one of the most important players in the rotation behind the three stars.

Trey Murphy III (New Orleans Pelicans)

A climbing sophomore! Above all, Trey Murphy III made a hot start before falling into line. He still comes out with very interesting performances at times but more irregularly, according to those absent in the Pelicans squad. There remains a trigger capable of catching fire at any time – 5 award-winning baskets in a recent victory against Chicago – and an interior that therefore stretches the lines. Enough to further flesh out the bench of a decidedly deep team.

10. Onyeka Okongwu (Atlanta Hawks)

He corresponds perfectly to this definition of “passing under the radar. His name rarely comes up in analyzes or articles about the best young players on his position. His stats are even down slightly from last season. Even if he still brings 8 points and 6 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

However, Onyeka Okongwu may be the player who will push Clint Capela to the exit in Atlanta. He is weaker than the Swiss, less confirmed, less experienced, but the Hawks could try to surf on the value of Capela by recovering one more asset if they believe that Okongwu is ready to assume the responsibilities of a holder. A future Mr. Double-double before the end of the season.

9. De’Anthony Melton (Philadelphia Sixers)

What a great pick for the Sixers. Typically the kind of obscure but important player that Daryl Morey knows how to find in the market. De’Anthony Melton was an underrated member of the Grizzlies rotation – and they miss him! – last season. He is one of the few reasons for satisfaction in Philadelphia at the start of the season.

The rear contributes 11 points, 38% from three-pointers, more than 4 rebounds, more than 3 assists and 2 steals in 27 minutes. It is also an ideal complement to the stars of the team. The soldiers in his style are those who can win a franchise… provided you have the real leaders around (that’s less certain in Philly).

8. Bol Bol (Orlando Magic)

His case has already been mentioned this week on BasketSession.

While waiting for Victor Wembanyama, Bol Bol is already revolutionizing the Magic

A taste of Victor Wembanyama, in much less exciting proportions. A “wish” version, even if the term has become too simplistic. The son of Manute Bol is making a real place for himself in the Magic, and therefore in the NBA, with skills rarely seen for a player of his size.

7. Alperen Sengun (Houston Rocket)

It’s hard to be interested in the Rockets because it’s not always fun to watch Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr’s “two man show”. But behind the two scorers, there is one of the pivots most exciting in the league! Alperen Sengun is undoubtedly, and it’s crazy, the interior who has the most moves back to the basket. From all over the NBA.

He obviously needs to progress in defense so as not to end up like his compatriot Enes Kanter, but the 20-year-old Turk has already brought in almost 15 points and more than 8 rebounds in 26 minutes. Houston is doing a little better when he is on the field.

6. Grant Williams (Boston Celtics)

He is already well known to the majority of basketball fans after being one of the architects of the heroic course of the Celtics, finally beaten in the NBA Finals, last season. A few months later, Grant Williams is even more valuable. His averages don’t raise crowds (9.8 points, 4.8 rebounds) but the winger is solid and major within the rotation of the best team in the league.

Grant Williams can remain a substitute or a complementary player throughout his career and still assert himself as a very high quality basketball player. He has all of those “all around players” who will make their team win season after season. PCs Tucker, Trevor Ariza and company. It’s hard to imagine finishing it without a ring.

5. Bones Hyland (Denver Nuggets)

A divisive player. But a player who is a hit. Bones Hyland is cut like a sixth man: small but not a leader, a sacred ball handler, a cruncher at times, capable of catching fire or self-sabotage his team. Luckily for the Nuggets, he shoots them up more often than down.

Hyland is Denver’s X factor every time he takes the field. He is the offensive weapon off the bench with his 15 points per game slammed in 21 minutes. He plays just two minutes more than last year and he plants five more units. A real progression and an already important asset for the Colorado franchise, which dreams of going as far as possible in the playoffs.

4. Nic Claxton (Brooklyn Nets)

The only Nets player with Kevin Durant to really have a good season. Nic Claxton is the pivot that imposes itself in Brooklyn, even if it is sometimes difficult to make him play with Ben Simmons. But it’s not that bad. He can become a more attacking/less defensive version of Kevon Looney, should the Aussie ever manage to develop into a Draymond Green on steroids.

Claxton remains light in defending some pivots but is consistent, combines well on pick-and-rolls and is efficient. 11.7 points on 72% shooting and 8.3 rebounds per game. If Brooklyn had more players this solid and consistent, New Yorkers would be in the top-4 in the Eastern Conference.

3. Jaden McDaniels (Minnesota Timberwolves)

He is only 22 years old, he is playing his third NBA season but he may already be the key for Minnesota. An unfair responsibility for a player who evolves with “four” All-Stars in power. A thankless role. But Jaden McDaniels fills it in beautifully and he’s a big reason for the Timberwolves’ recent rise to prominence.

The very long winger is supposed to provide a link between the backcourt and the frontcourt of his team. He does this with his rising outside address (37%), height, defense, mobility and athleticism.

2. Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings)

LIGHT THE BEAM!!!! The Kings have taken to throwing a Star Wars-style purple light into the sky after each win. It’s silly but it’s funny. And if they do it often these days, it’s because Kevin Huerter plays basketball every night. He might be the best shooter in the league right now.

A time compared to Klay Thompson, the young fullback is starting to get closer to his role model, at least in attack. He’s running almost 50% behind the arc while taking more than 7 attempts per game! Crazy. In addition, he is not penguin ball in hand. Without being a great creator, Huerter remains a decent playmaker. He is only 24 years old. Sacramento has an interesting player.

1. Devin Vassell (San Antonio Spurs)

Spurs new star. The best player in a team that is certainly quite weak but has an interesting young hard core. Texans play some really nice looking basketball. And Devin Vassell is therefore their go-to-guy. He may not, probably not, have the potential of a pure franchise player, but a Khris Middleton trajectory would hold water.

In the meantime, he compiles more than 20 points, almost 4 rebounds and almost 4 assists. 48% on shots and 44% on three-pointers. He is little talked about but he is a damn good player. We will have to keep an eye on the side of San Antonio.



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