25 UNDER 25 | HIGHEST CEILINGS | NEXT 10
For the second consecutive season, we have compiled a list of the top 25 players in the NBA under the age of 25. It offers a strong glimpse into not only who some of the top players are today, but who will be starring in this league for another 5-10 years.
(For last season's list, click here.)
To be clear: This is a ranking of how we would order these players if we were starting a franchise and would have them for the next several years, not just this season.
In order to be eligible for this list, a player must be 24 years or younger as of today (born on or after Jan. 22, 1988). Comments on each player are broken down into two sections -- one on the player's "current" value by David Thorpe and one on his "future" value, by Kevin Pelton who offers a three-year projection using wins above replacement player (WARP). He formulated his projections using his own system, SCHOENE.
Note: Statistics are as of Jan. 20. "NR" indicates a player was not ranked in 2011-12.
One look at this list and it is clear the NBA is very much a young man's league. All but two of the 25 players are starters, and this list is littered with individuals who are currently ranked as the league's best scorer, rebounder, shooter, ball handler, shot blocker, dunker or top defender. It might not necessarily be a "golden age" of basketball, but the overall athleticism is elite and widespread.