With the NBA season set to begin, narrowing down a list of the ten best NBA players under 25 in 2022-23 is no easy task.
We’re watching young players dominate right out of college, and it seems like they’re more NBA-ready by the year. That means longer careers and more talent and competition, so we definitely love that.
Best NBA players under 25 2022-23
Learning the ropes of being an NBA player is tough. Most top-tier prospects end up having underwhelming careers and fail to live up to the hype. It takes a lot to be successful in the Association, and most of them find out that the hard way.
With that in mind, we’ve taken an in-depth look at all the stats, both traditional and advanced, to determine the biggest young contributors in the league.
Of course, the eye test also plays a big role in our ranking, as some guys are just too talented to be left behind. So, buckle up and enjoy our list of the top 10 best NBA players under 25 in 2022-23.
10. Tyler Herro
Our top NBA players under 25 list begins with Tyler Herro, a guy who’s shown glimpses of greatness but that has lacked the consistency to prove that he’s poised to become a perennial All-Star. He just got his big pay day, so it’s time he delivers and takes that long-awaited step forward.
Herro has that ‘dog’ mentality that’s perfect for Miami Heat culture. He’s put a lot of work into improving his subpar defense, and he can be a 50/40/90 scorer. He’s also been quite good in the clutch and will never shy away from taking a big shot. The upside is there, he just needs to be more consistent.
9. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
People often forget about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander because of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s never-ending struggles, but he’s one of the most well-rounded young players in the league. He can play on and off the ball, create for others, and play solid defense even against bigger guys.
Shai can be your primary playmaker or take pressure off a more ‘true’ point guard like Josh Giddey. He can pull up, catch-and-shoot, or take you all the way to the rim with his smooth hesi and quick first step. Hopefully, he’ll get a shot at playing for an actual contender somewhere down the line.
8. LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball is clearly one of the best NBA players under 25 years old. He’s done a solid job of proving his doubters wrong, shooting the ball at a high clip and pushing the pace on every single possession, turning the Charlotte Hornets into must-watch television.
Melo is an elite playmaker and a nightly triple-double threat. He’s an elite rebounder for a guy in his position, and he can make passes not many other players in NBA history have been able to. The Hornets need to take good care of him, as he reeks of a big-market team.
7. Jordan Poole
Jordan Poole had one of the worst rookie seasons we can think of. He was, statistically, the worst shooter in the league, looked lost out there, and couldn’t get a stop to save his life. Now, he’s an NBA champion, a blossoming star poised to sign a huge contract extension.
The Golden State Warriors were patient with Poole, and it most definitely paid off. He’s made a strong case for being the Dubs’ starting shooting guard and has the potential of being one of the most unstoppable three-level scorers in the Association for years to come.
6. Trae Young
It’s kind of unfair that Trae Young‘s career will always be tangled up with Luka Doncic because it prevents some people from truly appreciating his game. Young is a dominant scorer and a guy that could go off for 50 with ten dimes any given night.
Trae Young has unlimited range and proved to be an elite facilitator from day one, and he is a fearless competitor in the playoffs. He’s got a never-ending bag of tricks and an otherworldly handle, albeit his poor defense will always be an asterisk in his game. Still, it seems like he doesn’t get enough credit.
5. Zion Williamson
Finally, Zion Williamson will be best one of the best young NBA players this season. It’s been way too long since we last saw the former first-overall pick take the hardwood, and the New Orleans Pelicans sure hope he can lead them to the promised land after another season on the shelf.
When healthy, Zion looks like a giant among kids. He’s incredibly strong and athletic, and a guy that big shouldn’t be able to jump that high. His defense is a work in progress, just like his jump shot, but he doesn’t need any of that to be a complete bully. He needs to avoid injury, though.
4. Anthony Edwards
NBA scouts had just one concern about Anthony Edwards when he first entered the league, which was his lack of defensive commitment. He’s put all that behind him and is now taking pride in being a much-improved defender, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
Edwards is an athletic freak, and he’s got the whole package offensively. Moreover, he’s a relentless competitor and a born leader. He can be the best player in the league if he continues to work on his craft, and he’s poised for an All-Star season in 2022-23.
3. Ja Morant
No longer overlooked, we can all agree that Ja Morant is one of the best young NBA players this season. He’s got that underdog mentality and plays every single game with a chip on his shoulder, perfectly embodying the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies culture.
Morant often reminds us of younger versions of Russell Westbrook and even Derrick Rose. He’s a high-flying freak who’s ready to put even the most dominant rim protectors on a poster. Also, he’s a team-first kind of guy who will do whatever it takes to win.
2. Jayson Tatum
It’s kind of crazy to think that Jayson Tatum has yet to turn 25 years old, as it feels like he’s been in the league forever. Tatum has yet to reach his prime, and he can still bulk up and get even better, which is something that seemed impossible after last season.
Tatum can efficiently score from all three levels and has become a solid defender, holding his ground against some of the best scorers in the league. However, he’s still left a lot to be desired when the game or the season is on the line.
1. Luka Doncic
And unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic rounds up our list of the top 10 best NBA players under 25 in 2022-23.
He handles himself like a 15-year veteran despite being just 23 years old, controlling the pace of the game at will despite not being the fastest or most athletic guy out there.
Doncic looks like the second coming of Larry Bird, albeit he’s nowhere near him defensively. He can be a member of the 50/40/90 club while also averaging eight boards and nine dimes per game. Moreover, it just seems like he was born to take over when it matters the most.