The NBA has had many stars in the league. From Jerry West to Michael Jordan to LeBron James, the NBA keeps evolving. Rules change every year, and additions are added. With guys like LeBron, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and more retiring this decade, we get to see a glimpse of the future stars. So who are the future stars of the NBA?
I would first like to talk about Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Luka Doncic has really gained some audience the past couple of years. He was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick, but was traded for Mavericks’ fifth overall player, Trae Young. Luka came into the league dominating the game early. He won Rookie of the Year over Trae Young and DeAndre Ayton. Since then, he has been hitting crazy shots, and doing stuff only superstars would do. He is the new face of the Mavericks after Dirk Nowitzki retiring in 2019. Luka looks like he has adapted from LeBron and Kobe. His game is unstoppable. Once he gets in the moment, he is hot. Luka is definitely going to be a face of the league.
The next player I want to talk about is Ja Morant. Morant was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 2nd overall pick. Ja Morant has proven himself to be a great player. He won Rookie of the Year beating Zion Williamson. His finishing is lethal. He also has hops and can get some air time. On top of all of that, he is a good shooter. Ja Morant led the Grizzlies to the 2021 Playoffs. Despite losing 4-1 to the #1 seed Utah Jazz, he played well. He had to beat a hot Warriors team with Steph Curry to get there. Ja Morant has been really good since his rookie year. Hopefully he stays consistent and good.
Now, let’s move on to Trae Young. The player who was traded for Luka Doncic. Trae Young finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Doncic. He showed up at the end of his rookie year but wasn’t consistent at the beginning. Young has now taken the Hawks in the second round of the Playoffs beating the MIP Julius Randle and the New York Knicks. The Hawks will face the #1 seed Philadelphia 76ers. Trae Young is a really good deep shooter. He shoots some pretty deep shots and they go in. He can take over the game if he really has to. He reminds me of Steph Curry and Damian Lillard. His future is definitely brights
Zion Williamson has been one of the biggest prospects since LeBron James. He was incredible with Duke. His success in college led him to the first overall pick landing on the New Orleans Pelicans. Zion looked good at the beginning of his rookie year but got injured not far into the season. This led to Morant winning Rookie of the Year. He did make a comeback late in the season but it wasn’t enough. Zion came back this season looking better than ever. Zion recorded 25 straight games with over 20 points. The most by a teenager. Zion’s record was snapped but it is still a really good streak. Him and the Pelicans weren’t able to make it to the Playoffs. I believe the Pelicans have a good chance to make it next year. Zion has proven himself to be worth the #1 pick.
Donovan Mitchell is another great young player. Selected with the 13th pick by the Utah Jazz, he has definitely been worth it. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz to the #1 seed in the west and is breaking the game. Donovan Mitchell got injured late in the season but the Jazz were still able to control. They lost the first game in the first round of the Playoffs against the Grizzlies. Donovan Mitchell came back in game 2. No one was sure how we would do after missing quite a bit of games. Mitchell pulled the win for the Jazz and proceeded to also win games 3-5. He will face either the Los Angeles Clippers or Dallas Mavericks. It would be fun to see a matchup of Donovan Mitchell versus Luka Doncic. Mitchell is a really good player. Ben Simmons beat him for Rookie of the Year causing a controversial discussion. Mitchell is going to control the game quite a bit.
Another amazing 13th overall pick is Devin Booker. Drafted by the Phoenix Suns, Booker has been extremely good. Booker is a really good shooter and scorer. In 2017, Booker dropped 70 points against the Celtics. Despite losing the game by 10, it’s still a really good stat. He was and still is (so far) the youngest player to drop 70+ points in a single game. He finally got some help this season with point guard Chris Paul. They made it into the Playoffs as the #2 seed. They beat the stacked Los Angeles team in the first round 4-2. Devin Booker played extremely well this series. They will now go on to face Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
Last but not least, I want to talk about Jayson Tatum. Tatum was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 3rd overall pick. Tatum has been absolutely incredible. He has not missed the Playoffs yet. He has been there for four straight years. He was a good roleplayer behind Kyrie Irving. But Kyrie left Boston and the team was now up to Tatum and Kemba Walker. Tatum has proved that he can almost do anything. He was just eliminated from the Playoffs in the first round by ex-teammate Kyrie, KD, Harden, and the rest of the stacked Brooklyn Nets. Tatum is definitely growing into a superstar and has so much potential.
There are obviously so many more future stars of the league. Some hiding in the league waiting for their time, some in college, and some even in high school. Names like Lamelo Ball and Bronny might fly soon. But these 7 players have really shown some incredible stuff that has stuck out to me. Also, before everyone comes after me about Giannis, Jokic, and Embiid, I only looked at players drafted in 2015 and up. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Leave your thoughts below!