Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Young Guns

There is a load of players who are young, talented, and ready to stand firmly behing King James as the future of the NBA. Some players on the list are already impacting their teams in ways that have made them all-stars and MVP candidates. In order to be eligible for this list, the player must be 24 years old or younger at the date of this articles posting OR have been selected within or after the 2004 NBA draft. 2009 NBA draft candidates will not be included in this list (sorry Blake Griffin). The list will be the top twenty young players to watch. Some players may be better than others today, but we are trying to evaluate their potential for the future as well as today. Cleary a player who has been in the league four years will often be better than a rookie, but that doesn’t mean they will be higher on this list. A player’s future contributions to their teams and the league are the deciding factors here. In descending order:

20. Rodney Stuckey – PG – Detroit Pistons

19. Russell Westbrook – PG – Oklahoma City Thunder

18. Mario Chalmers – PG – Miami Heat

17. Danny Granger – G/F – Indiana Pacers

16. Al Horford – C/PF – Atlanta Hawks

15. Rudy Gay – SF – Memphis Grizzlies

14. LaMarcus Aldridge – PF/C – Portland Trail Blazers

13. Raymond Felton – PG – Charlotte Bobcats

12. Ben Gordon – SG – Chicago Bulls

11. Rajon Rondo – PG – Boston Celtics

10. Josh Smith – F – Atlanta Hawks

09. Michael Beasley – F – Miami Heat

08. Brandon Roy – SG/SF – Portland Trail Blazers

07. Deron Williams – PG – Utah Jazz

06. Greg Oden – C – Portland Trail Blazers

05. O.J. Mayo – PG/SG – Memphis Grizzlies

04. Derrick Rose – PG – Chicago Bulls

03. Chris Paul – PG – New Orleans Hornets

02. Kevin Durant – SG/SF – Oklahoma City Thunder

01. Dwight Howard – C – Orlando Magic

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