10. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Easily the most overlooked on this list, Jokic has a rare combination of physicality and immense skill. This creates matchup problems on top of matchup problems, a force of nature that will dominate the playoffs. Will the league figure Jokic out? Who knows, but he’s got multiple ways to hurt you.
9. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Much ballyhooed out of LSU, Simmons NBA career started rough, with a season-ending injury. In year two, he’s bounced back to become one of the league’s most exciting players. Rapidly becoming a triple-double machine, Simmons seems to be a lock for Rookie of the Year.
8. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Drummond is a defensive and rebounding machine…like legendary good. His offense is coming along, but it’s still mainly limited to put backs and alley-oops. Nonetheless, the kid is an absolute stud, and has seemingly limitless talent.
7. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
Wiggins is already an incredible scorer, but will have to become a bit more well-rounded if he’s to become an MVP candidate like many had hoped. Even still, he’s not even close to a bust, anchoring a talented, but defensively-limited, young Timberwolves team.
6. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Nicknamed “The Unicorn,” Porzingis is exactly that…a once in a generation talent. A guy 7’2 to have such an amazing skill set ought to be illegal. Frankly, he’s currently caught up in a messy franchise with an odd direction towards success. Even still, he’s a transcendent talent.
5. Giannis Atetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
It’s this author’ opinion, that Gianni’s is ever so slightly overrated. That being said, he’s an unbelievable talent and the most well-rounded star since Lebron James. Should he get a consistent jumpshot, there’ll be no conceivable way to stop him.
4. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Young Towns has shown flashes of brilliance, but still has a ways to go to top this list. The young center has all the tools and will be a game-changer at both ends. You can’t replace experience though, which will turn Towns into a superstar.
3. Joel Embid, Philadelphia 76ers
The only…I repeat the ONLY thing that can keep Embid from becoming a perennial all-star starter are injuries. When he’s on the court he dominates the game on both ends. Hardening back to a young Patrick Ewing, Embid is a legit freak, with a charisma that the league desperately needs.
2. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Coming into last season, many were split on whether or not Kyrie IS the real deal or is overrated. Seeing the Cavs without him in the Finals though, made those same critics see the true value of Irving. While he’s always been a great scorer, Kyrie needs to become a better distributor for the Celtics to take the next step.
- Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Davis can do everything and is the cornerstone of a young and talented Pelicans squad. The team desperately needs defense, which Davis can certainly provide. Anthony will stuff the stat sheets and is a possible frontrunner if New Orleans can contend for a playoff spot.