With one of the best young NBA Players in Boston Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum having graduated from the under-25 group earlier this month by turning 25 on March 3rd, I thought it’d be interesting to see which new young stud will take his place among my top five under 25 NBA players?
Will it be Minnesota Timberwolves’ young ascending guard Anthony Edwards? Or what about the Orlando Magics’ prized rookie Paolo Banchero who’s having a transcendent debut season and looks to be a future MVP-level type talent. Without further ado, lets get into the top five NBA players under 25.
Honorable Mentions: Tyrese Haliburton, LaMelo Ball, Evan Mobley, Zion Williamson
5. Paolo Banchero, Forward, Orlando Magic
Coming in at five might shock some, but it shouldn’t, the 6-foot-10 250 lbs locomotive Banchero is having one of the most historic rookie seasons in NBA History. Banchero has recorded five 30-point games this season with his career-high being 33 against the Sacramento Kings on Nov.5.
As of March 10, the 20-year-old Banchero is averaging 20.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game on 42% from the field. Banchero is a pure mismatch for opponents due to his unique blend of elite strength, size, and quickness. His ability to absorb contact and finish at such a young age is what makes him so elite and reminds you of a young Carmelo Anthony with the way he uses his body to bruise his opponents to get easy buckets wherever on the floor.
What also makes the Italian Magic forward so special is his ability to make plays for his teammates despite being just a rookie hence the almost four assists per game, displaying his high feel for the game.
Banchero has the chance to join an elite club of legends that includes Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Luka Doncic, Walter Davis, and Blake Griffin if he continues at his current pace of at least 20 points six rebounds, and three assists per game… Talk about elite company.
Banchero is going to be a special talent and one of the faces of the league for the foreseeable future as he still is learning NBA defensive principles and will need to improve his three-point shot to reach his full potential as he shoots just 28% from beyond the arc this season.
But all signs thus far this season point to a superstar in the making.