The NBA has a plethora of youngsters who are under 25. Many young players are showcasing talent in one of the best leagues in the world.
Several of these young players have star potential, and many have already announced their entry into the leagues' superstar club. These youngsters are primed to take over the company and make it their own in a few years as the generation shifts in the NBA.
New talents and young prospects enter the league every year via the NBA draft, and among these new players, some can impact the game, take it to a new level, and give their team a chance at the dance, i.e., the postseason.
Some teams are lucky who acquire generational talents at a young age as such players, more often than not, go on to make history and change the course of the franchise for good.
Today, we look at the teams across the NBA and still identify the 20 best players under the age of 25. We have some already on our minds, and we can't wait to help you learn about the best young NBA players or simply the best NBA players under 25.
Top 20 NBA Players Under 25
|Jaren Jackson Jr.
1. Luka Doncic
The first name on our list is the sensational Luka Doncic. The 23-year-old Slovenian professional has been tearing up the league since he was drafted.
Before joining the NBA, Luka was already a seasoned professional in Europe, where he played for Real Madrid. Even at such a young age, he faced up against grown men and stood his ground firmly. Doncic was so good that he had already won the Euroleague championship and the Euroleague MVP even before he set foot on the NBA.
The Hawks drafted him before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks as the 3rd overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Few doubted his skills and abilities, considering he had never played in America. However, he has made everyone who doubted him eat their words, as he has been excellent. Doncic won Rookie of the year in his debut season in the NBA.
The three-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA first team, Doncic, has already made several records for both Dallas Mavericks and NBA and have inked his name in the NBA history books and is continuing to do so. Just 23, and at the beginning of his career, he has the potential to become the best player the NBA has ever seen grace its courts.
2. Jayson Tatum
Another generational talent who has established himself as a superstar in this league is Jayson Tatum. He is in his 6th season already.
Jayson plays as the Small Forward for Boston Celtics. Born on March 3, 1998, in St. Louis, Missouri, the 24-year-old has gradually improved and matured every passing season and even led his team to the NBA finals last season.
Even before he entered the league, he was viewed as a polished scorer and a true talent. He has been coached and mentored by the late great Kobe Bryant himself.
The Boston Celtics drafted Jayson Tatum as the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft after they traded down from first place and acquired another 1st round pick next season from the Philadelphia Sixers. The trade would be disastrous for the sixers. However, the Celtics got their man and their franchise player.
In his first year in the league, Jayson Tatum was one of the main pieces that helped take the Celtics to the Eastern Conference final, where they lost to Lebron James and his Cavaliers in game 7 of the ECF. He was a part of the NBA ALL-Rookie first team that year.
Since then, Tatum has grown leaps and bounds and has established himself as the perennial MVP candidate and a superstar in the league. He has gone to the ALL-Star games three times and has been part of the ALL-NBA first team and ALL-NBA second team once, respectively, along with winning the Eastern Conference finals MVP last season.
Still just 24, we believe that Tatum is the league's future, and he will dominate for over a decade.
3. Ja Morant
The 2nd overall pick for the Grizzlies in the 2019 NBA draft Ja Morant is the 3rd ranked player under 25.
The athletic freak has been a phenomenon since he entered this league and has turned himself into a superstar in such a short time.
With him at their disposal, the Grizzlies have a bonafide star amidst their ranks for years to come. Ja Morant has to his name the 2020 NBA rookie of the year as part of the ALL-NBA second team in 2022 and the All-Star team.
With Ja's exploits around the rim, the Grizzlies finished the season with the second-highest win-loss record.
Still just 23, Ja Morant will be lighting up the league for years to come, and his prowess at the rim will be menacing for the opposing defenses to contain.
4. Trae Young
Trae Young is another superstar gracing our list of best NBA players under 25. The 24-year-old sensation entered the league in 2018.
Trae and Luka entered the league in the same season and during the draft. Interestingly, Luka was drafted by the Hawks and Trae by the Mavericks. Later, the two teams would go on to exchange their draft pick, sending the two young stars in opposite directions.
From what we've seen of the two starts these past couple of years, it is clear that Luka is the superior talent. However, Trae Young is impressive nonetheless.
The two-time NBA-All Star, as well as one-time ALL-NBA third-team inductee, was also part of the NBA-ALL rookie first team. Young has guided his team to the western conference finals with himself at the helm as their point guard.
Young is a very gifted player and a fantastic point guard, and he has constantly been compared to the most excellent shooter the league has ever seen, Stephen Curry, due to their similar playing style.
Still a long career ahead, Trae Young has vast potential, and if fulfilled, he could be one of the best players to have ever played in the league when it's all said and done.
5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The impressive 24-year-old Canadian is the next entrant on our exclusive list of best players in the NBA under 25.
Shai was drafted into the league by Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on the same day. So, he started his NBA career with the Clippers.
He was with the Clippers for a year, during which he impressed tremendously. Later, Shai was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunders and some other players, five first-round draft picks, and concessions.
Now, with the Thunders, Shai gorgeous alexander has been impressive and grown a lot. This is his fourth year with the Thunders, and this year he has managed to average 31.1 points per game in 35.8 minutes per game.
Shai has impressed me a lot and has a lot of room to improve and grow even more.
6. Anthony Edwards
The 21 years old first overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft for the Minnesota Timberwolves Anthony Edwards is another entrant onto our list.
Unlike the rest of the players on our list, Anthony Edwards is still growing and developing as we talk about him. He has shown that he has all the required skills and abilities to make it big and impact this game and this league. However, at just 21, he still has a lot of room for growth and development, and he is doing so rapidly.
Career 20-point scorer, Edwards is averaging 22 points per game this season. With him developing and polishing his passing skills, we can only see his stock price rise and grow. He also has shown some fantastic defensive qualities in bursts and moments. With dedicated time and practice, Anthony Edwards is one such player who can have a great career ahead as a proper two-way player.
7. Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson takes the seventh spot on our list of the top 20 NBA players under 25. He could have ranked even higher if this list had been a year old.
Williamson is an exceptional talent and a force of nature. The only thing holding him back from taking the league as his own is his injury issues that keep on nagging him.
Before the draft, Williamson was touted as the next LeBron and was projected to take over the league. However, he couldn't do so due to his nagging injury issues. Nonetheless, he has shown glimpses, and at moments he has shown how dominant of a player he could be if all things were normal.
However, even with his injury issues, the 22-year-old New Orleans Pelicans Power Forward has averaged 22.5 points per game this season and 25.2 points per game for his career.
Zion Williamson came into the league with resounding hype, and we expect him to show why he was regarded so highly even before his draft when he is fully healthy and has nothing dragging him down. And this season could be the platform for him to do precisely that.
8. LaMelo Ball
Entering his third season in the NBA LaMelo Ball has been exceptional in his short career. LaMelo Ball is the son of the controversial LaVar Ball.
Lamelo was drafted as the 3rd overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and since then, he has been fantastic for them, even winning the NBA rookie of the year. LaMelo also got selected for his first ALL-Star game in his second year in the NBA in 2022.
Unlike his brother Lonzo Ball, LaMelo has fulfilled his potential and shown his talent in front of the world, as his father told him he would. In an interview couple of years back, LaVar reportedly said he believed LaMelo would be the best one of the three kids he has and would impress in the NBA. Up to this point, LaMelo has impressed and established himself as the leading player for the Charlotte Hornets.
Although he has a long way to go, he has been set on a path to superstardom thanks to his exploits and talents.
9. Cade Cunningham
The number 1 overall pick from last years NBA draft Cade Cunningham is the next player on our list. The 21 year old plays as a point guard.
Born on September 25, 2001, Cade Cunnigham comes from Arlington, Texas.
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the no.1 pick last year, Cade Cunningham won the NBA rookie of the year award for his efforts and abilities. He played in 64 games for the Pistons in his rookie year, averaging 17.4 points per game.
This year, he has increased his contributions to 19.9 points per game. Cunningham was very efficient and impressive, especially after the ALL-Star break last year when he averaged 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists, per game, respectively.
In his second season this year, Cunningham will be looking to improve upon his weaknesses and polish his strengths, which will help him going forward.
10. Darius Garland
The 22 year old Darius Garland who plays as the point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers and has been impressive is the 10th player to get a spot on our list.
Garland, the Cavaliers' 5th overall pick in the 2019 draft was selected for his first NBA ALL-Star game last year.
He has been impressive as the Cavaliers' point guard and has managed to increase his scoring average every year since getting drafted. He went from scoring 12.3 points in his rookie year to 17.4 points in his sophomore season and concluded his third season last year with an average scoring of 21.7 points per game.
This season, he has started by averaging 22.9 points per game. And he continues to grow and mature every year.
11. Scottie Barnes
Last year's NBA rookie of the year Scottie Barnes has entered our list as the 11th best NBA player under 25.
Drafted by the Toronto Raptors as the 4th overall pick in last year's NBA draft, Scottie Barnes was impressive. Standing at 6 ft 7 in, Barnes was outstanding by not only his presence at the rim but also by his ball handling and other skills.
He averaged 15.3 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, among other stats. He was impressive and involved all across the board for the Raptors.
This year, he has started the season with a 14.4 scoring average and 6.6 rebounding per game, among other stats. He could be experiencing what we call the sophomore slump. However, he isn't that far from his Rookie of the year winning campaign average.
The 21-year-old from West Palm Beach, Florida, is a dynamic player, and many even compared him to the fantastic Giannis Antetokounmpo. Being compared to such a player just at the start of your career is a huge deal.
12. Jarrett Allen
The 22nd pick from the 2017 NBA draft Jarrett Allen is our next spot holder. The 24 year old plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jarrett Allen was drafted into the NBA by the Brooklyn Nets. He spent three and a half seasons with the Nets before being traded to Cleveland.
The Center for the Cavaliers is in his 6th year in the league overall and his 2nd entire season with the Cavaliers.
Allen has had a career average of 11.6 points per game and a rebound average of 8.7 per game, to go with 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
The 6 ft 9 in Center has been exciting throughout his career, and we expect him to do the identical rest of the way.
13. Deandre Ayton
The 24 year old Bahamian Center for the Phoenix Suns makes our list next as the 13th best player in the NBA under the age of 25.
Deandre Ayton was the 1st overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns, ahead of both Luka Doncic and Trae Young, the two players ranked higher on this list.
However, Ayton has been dominant as the Phoenix Suns Center and even helped them to reach the NBA finals in 2021, where they eventually lost to the Giannis Antetokoumnpo-led Milwaukee Bucks.
He has a career of 16.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, one block, and 1.6 assists per game.
Ayton still has a long way to go and has time for growth and improvement.
14. Tyler Herro
Tyler Herro plays for the Miami Heat. The 2019 13th overall draft pick has impressed with his shooting abilities.
Every year he has been with the Heat, he has gradually improved.
15. Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. takes our number 15 spot. The 23 year old Power Forward for the Grizzlies has had a decent career since his draft.
Jackson Jr. was drafted back in 2018 as the 4th overall pick.
He led the league in blocks last year with 2.3 blocks per game. Jackson Jr. is playing in his 5th NBA season.
16. Tyrese Maxey
The 22 year old shooting guard Tyrese Maxey from Dallas Texas takes the 16th spot on the list.
Drafted in 2020 by the Sixers as the 21st overall pick, Tyrese has improved significantly since his introduction to the league, and his decision-making is widely appreciated throughout the league.
He ended last season with a 17.5 scoring average and increased it in the postseason.
17. Jordan Poole
23 year old Jordan Poole plays as the shooting guard for the Warriors. He had a significant role in their title win last season.
In just his 4th season now, Jordan Poole has improved immensely every year since he was drafted. The warriors drafted him as the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
18. R.J. Barrett
At number 18 on our list comes in yet another Canadian R.J. Barrett. The 6 ft 6 in shooting guard/small forward plays for the New York Knicks.
He was drafted in 2019 as the 3rd overall pick and ended the last season scoring 20 points per game.
He is growing and developing as a player.
19. De'Aaron Fox
The 19th entry into our list is that of De'Aaron Fox. The fifth overall pick from 2017 plays for the Sacramento Kings as a point guard.
Fox is a competent soccer and triumphantly ended his season last season.
He was not having his way when it came to scoring. However, he ended the season by averaging north of 28 points per game after the break.
20. Desmond Bane
The last entry to our list is yet another Grizzlies Desmond Bane. The 24 year old shooting guard stands at 6 ft 5 in.
The Celtics selected him as the 30th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft before he was traded to the Grizzlies.
In his sophomore season last year, he improved tremendously from his first year, doubling his scoring from 9 ppg to 18 ppg and improving in almost every category.
This year is his third as a professional, and we expect him to grow this year too.