There is a saying that there is no substitute for experience; we’re not saying it isn’t true but there is plenty of space for young talents to emerge too.
Here we turn our attention to the young NBA stars to watch next season.
Number 5. LaMelo Ball
Kicking off our list of the young NBA stars to watch next season is LaMelo Ball. The Hornets man had plenty of doubters after being drafted at number three in 2020; his rookie year rammed those words back down peoples’ throats.
Entering year two, everybody is excited to find out what the young guard can do next. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year award and posted 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
In fact, his involvement was so strong that the Hornets genuinely looked like a playoff team when he was healthy. Consider that he only played 50 games last year and the year ahead could be even brighter for the team and Ball.
Number 4. Cade Cunningham
Next up is Cade Cunningham; if we’re honest, the number one overall pick in the most recent NBA draft was always going to be heavily anticipated. Cunningham, who starred for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, is going to have the eyes of the world on him. The Detroit Pistons guard or forward can do pretty much everything.
He has terrific passing and shooting ability and has the length and quickness to guard all five positions.
If Cunningham can live up to the hype that he is already receiving, he could end up becoming the type of superstar that we have seen Luka Doncic turn into. To put even more pressure on his young shoulders, he could even make the Pistons relevant again.
Number 3. Ja Morant
Ja Morant has only been in the league for a couple of seasons but his explosiveness and athleticism have made him somewhat of a human highlight reel. He had a bit of a down year to start off the 2020 season but ended it with two play-in tournament victories and took the Utah Jazz to five games.
In spite of his age, Morant shows incredible leadership and the Memphis Grizzlies have really formed around him as an organisation. Without a doubt, the Murray State grad is going to deliver some more crazy moments and could even take his scoring to a new level. For those reasons, he is definitely one of the young NBA stars to watch next season.
Number 2. Trae Young
Trae Young is a player this will attract serious attention in the year ahead. The Atlanta Hawks man had one of the wildest transformations in the league last season.
He played a huge role as the Hawks made it all the way into the Eastern Conference Finals and it is no surprise that he has been compared to Steph Curry on a number of occasions due to his craftiness with the basketball and ability to shoot from distance on a consistent basis.
His defense is still a concern moving forward but with his confidence growing quickly he is likely to be a joy to watch. He’ll never be one of the best defensive players in the NBA but if he improves on those frailties then he could blossom into a real superstar.
Number 1. Luka Doncic
The player sitting in first place on our list won’t be much of a surprise to anyone. In fact, if you don’t know to watch out for Luka Doncic then perhaps you’ve not been paying much attention to basketball lately.
He has proven to be one of the best players in the NBA right now and next season won’t be any different.
The 22-year-old guard is coming off the back of his best ever season and has been rewarded with a five-year extension with the Dallas Mavericks.
On top of his NBA displays, Doncic has just carried Slovenia to fourth place at the Olympic Games. His strength, speed and ability to put up monster stat lines make him a threat to explode on any given night.
There you have it, the best young NBA stars to watch next season. If you want to compare these players with the youngest in history, check out the list prepared by the TwinSpires Edge: edge.twinspires.com/nba/the-youngest-players-in-nba-history/