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    Default Top 25 under 25 article

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story...players-age-25

    25 UNDER 25 | HIGHEST CEILINGS | NEXT 10

    For the second consecutive season, we have compiled a list of the top 25 players in the NBA under the age of 25. It offers a strong glimpse into not only who some of the top players are today, but who will be starring in this league for another 5-10 years.

    (For last season's list, click here.)

    To be clear: This is a ranking of how we would order these players if we were starting a franchise and would have them for the next several years, not just this season.

    In order to be eligible for this list, a player must be 24 years or younger as of today (born on or after Jan. 22, 1988). Comments on each player are broken down into two sections -- one on the player's "current" value by David Thorpe and one on his "future" value, by Kevin Pelton who offers a three-year projection using wins above replacement player (WARP). He formulated his projections using his own system, SCHOENE.

    Note: Statistics are as of Jan. 20. "NR" indicates a player was not ranked in 2011-12.

    One look at this list and it is clear the NBA is very much a young man's league. All but two of the 25 players are starters, and this list is littered with individuals who are currently ranked as the league's best scorer, rebounder, shooter, ball handler, shot blocker, dunker or top defender. It might not necessarily be a "golden age" of basketball, but the overall athleticism is elite and widespread.


    1Kevin Durant
    AGE: 24DOB: 9/29/88HT: 6-9WT: 235POS: SF
    PPG: 29.3APG: 3.0RPG: 6.7 3-YR WARP: 45.1

    Current: He's the clear choice for the world's second best player, having already proven he's the league's top pure scorer. Durant was remarkable in getting OKC to the NBA Finals last season, and he is a better all-around player now, adding crisper ball movement and defensive playmaking. He also has learned how to score best in crunch time, by using his ball handling and size to create great shots. He's a reluctant superstar and a consummate team player, perhaps behind only Tim Duncan as the best teammate in the NBA. -- David Thorpe

    Future: Can Durant actually get better? A 50-40-90 season while using nearly 30 percent of his team's plays is probably the upper bound on his scoring, but Durant also continues to round out the rest of his game. His improved defense and rebounding mean, like LeBron James, Durant might end up as a matchup nightmare at power forward on a regular basis as he ages. -- Kevin Pelton

    LAST TIME: 1 | PLAYER CARD

    2Russell Westbrook
    AGE: 24DOB: 11/12/88HT: 6-3WT: 187POS: PG
    PPG: 22.7APG: 8.3RPG: 5.3 3-YR WARP: 34.2

    Current: Had Rose been healthy, it would have made for a fun debate. And Westbrook might still have ranked No. 2. His will to win is almost unmatched, and no player has a bigger advantage than Westbrook does as an athlete at his position. He still takes too many jumpers early in possessions, but no one can question his commitment to winning because of how many astounding plays he makes to accomplish that goal. Improved ball handling and patience have made him a better set-up man. -- Thorpe

    Future: Though Westbrook is just 24, his WARP projections show he's near his peak. Shoot-first point guards tend to top out earlier than players at other positions. To avoid that fate, Westbrook will have to find more balance in his shoot/pass ratios as he relies less on otherworldly athleticism to finish around the rim. This season's improvement to league average from beyond the arc also is encouraging. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 6 | PLAYER CARD

    3Blake Griffin
    AGE: 23DOB: 3/16/89HT: 6-10WT: 251POS: PF
    PPG:17.8BPG: 0.6RPG: 8.4 3-YR WARP: 34.2

    Current: Ignore those spectacular dunks, and Griffin still remains one of the league's best "bucket-getters," with explosive inside moves and counters of which he makes more than 70 percent. He is an underrated ball handler and passer, which makes him even more difficult to defend. Griffin is much better as a positional defender now, and one of the top defensive rebounders in the game. He has improved his perimeter shooting, and is a reliable free throw stroke away from being a complete player in all phases. -- Thorpe

    Future: Griffin has made steady improvement to his outside game. Hoopdata.com shows Griffin's accuracy from 16-23 feet improving from 33 percent as a rookie to 37 percent last season and 39 percent so far in 2012-13, which is better than average. Griffin's increasing versatility will give the Clippers more options on offense and make him more difficult to defend. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 5 | PLAYER CARD

    4James Harden
    AGE: 23DOB: 8/26/89HT: 6-5WT: 220POS: SG
    PPG: 25.8APG: 5.3RPG: 4.4 3-YR WARP: 36.6

    Current: Harden has grown into one of the top offensive players in the NBA. He has got great vision and anticipates defenders well, which gives him a decided advantage as a scorer or passer. He's solid on the perimeter and very tough to defend off the dribble with or without ball screens because of his power and ability to change speeds. He has proven he can be the best player on his team and still drive that team to a good record and a likely playoff appearance. -- Thorpe

    Future: Believe it or not, Harden has this group's best WARP projection for 2013-14. Because these projections are based on a small pool of similar players, that doesn't mean Harden will actually leapfrog former teammates Durant and Westbrook, but it does indicate he belongs in the conversation. As Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade age, Harden could soon emerge as the league's top 2-guard. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 8 | PLAYER CARD

    5Derrick Rose
    AGE: 24DOB: 10/4/88HT: 6-3WT: 190POS: PG
    PPG: 21.8APG: 7.9RPG: 3.43-YR WARP: 31.7

    Current: Rose has a lot of Durant in him, as he is a "reluctant" superstar, which is why his teammates love him so much. He is talent and humility personified. When healthy, he is the most explosive one-on-one dribble-drive threat at the point of attack in the game. His work ethic made him a respectable shooter, and though he does not have great vision, he is happy to pass if that is the best option. Rose has become an elite pick-and-roll player. -- Thorpe

    Future: Research doesn't bear out the conventional wisdom that players are better in their second year back from a torn ACL. Still, ACL repair has improved to the point that Rose is unlikely to see serious long-term ramifications. Look for him to resume his place as one of the league's top players as soon as he's fully healthy. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 2 | PLAYER CARD

    6Kyrie Irving
    AGE: 20DOB: 3/23/92HT: 6-3WT: 191POS: PG
    PPG: 23.1APG: 5.7RPG: 3.6 3-YR WARP: 35.1

    Current: Already one of the league's top players. Irving combines offensive skill better than any player on this list, and far better than anyone at this age in recent memory. He has proven he can carry his team with impressive offensive explosions that range from the 3-point line to the paint. Irving plays with a high IQ and is disciplined at shot selection, and would be even more effective on a good team. Irving is a future MVP candidate. -- Thorpe

    Future: In a couple of seasons, Irving might lead this list. Among this group, he ranks behind just Durant and Griffin in terms of projected WARP during the 2015-16 season. Irving came into the league so advanced he won't have to spend much time perfecting his jumper. Instead, Irving's bigger area of improvement will be at the defensive end, where he must get stronger. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 9 | PLAYER CARD

    7Serge Ibaka
    AGE: 23DOB: 9/18/89HT: 6-10WT: 235POS: PF
    PPG: 13.9BPG: 2.8RPG: 8.4 3-YR WARP: 17.9

    Current: Ibaka is one of the few players in this league who can dominate the paint defensively, make numerous plays above the rim on both sides of the court, and be a consistent threat with his jump shot. That outside shooting is a key, as it helps his team's offense enormously with great spacing -- and none of the premier shot blockers in the league can shoot as well as Ibaka can, save Duncan. Ibaka now plays like an experienced veteran, not the raw talent of previous seasons. -- Thorpe

    Future: Per Basketball-Reference.com, only three players in NBA history (Andrei Kirilenko, Raef LaFrentz and Josh Smith) have made even 25 3-pointers during a season in which they averaged 2.0 blocks per game. If he continues to expand his range, Ibaka could create a new stereotype. He's 7-of-23 from beyond the arc this season after taking six triples in his first three seasons combined. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 20 | PLAYER CARD

    8Kevin Love
    AGE: 24DOB: 9/7/88HT: 6-10WT: 260POS: PF
    PPG: 18.3BPG: 0.5RPG: 14.0 3-YR WARP: 40.5

    Current: This is awfully high for a player who has broken his hand twice this season and played well, not great, when he did appear in 18 games. But few players have done what he has done in his young career. He's not just the best rebounder/perimeter shooter in the league, he's the best that has ever played. Love is also a tough guy to slow down in the post, and is an underrated defender because of his strength and his talent at getting great defensive position. -- Thorpe

    Future: Only Durant has a better WARP projection than Love's, who should suffer no long-term issues from a season marred by injuries. Love boasts two MVPs with very different styles as his best comparables. No. 1 on his list is Dirk Nowitzki; No. 2 is former Minnesota star Kevin Garnett. It's worth watching whether Love continues to drift to the perimeter like Nowitzki or refocuses down low like Garnett. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 3 | PLAYER CARD

    9Brook Lopez
    AGE: 24DOB: 4/1/88HT: 7-0WT: 265POS: C
    PPG: 18.6BPG: 2.1RPG: 7.3 3-YR WARP: 20.1

    Current: Injuries and bad coaching have always tarnished Lopez, as has his own seeming disinterest for rebounding. But with better players around him he has overcome that bad coaching and become a dominant center in a league that has few. He's one of the NBA's best finishers in shots up to 15 feet and, as dominating centers should, he pounds the defense with a strong paint presence rather than just float outside. He's a solid defender and the best player, by far, on a playoff team. -- Thorpe

    Future: Lopez's ability as a low-post scorer has never been in question. His improvement at the other end in 2012-13 will help his chances of living up to a max contract. Lopez is blocking shots at the best rate of his career and has also stepped up his subpar defensive rebounding. That's important because such skills rarely develop in the NBA. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 25 | PLAYER CARD

    10Stephen Curry
    AGE: 24DOB: 3/14/88HT: 6-3WT: 185POS: PG
    PPG: 20.6APG: 6.6RPG: 4.1 3-YR WARP: 23.5

    Current: Curry entered the NBA with one of the purest and quickest shooting strokes coming from college. Outside of injuries, he has not disappointed. With an excellent coach who inspires team defense, Curry is captaining a team with a true shot at the playoffs this season. It's his shooting, though, that earns him a top-10 spot on this list, as he ranks one of the elite few shooters on Earth -- perhaps the best ever. That is a weapon of extreme value, even more so come playoff time when interior buckets are tougher to get. -- Thorpe

    Future: Just stay healthy. Whenever Curry has been on the court, he has produced, but fans will continue to cringe every time he lands hard on his right ankle after a pair of surgeries. Curry's ability to play either guard position -- he has been effective finishing games off the ball next to Jarrett Jack -- gives Golden State plenty of strategic flexibility going forward. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 14 | PLAYER CARD

    11Kenneth Faried
    AGE: 23DOB: 11/19/89HT: 6-8WT: 228POS: SF
    PPG: 12.2APG: 0.9RPG: 9.9 3-YR WARP: 21.0

    Current: On this list, which includes some of the best NBA players overall, Faried tops it in two important categories. He's the quickest "big man" within five feet of space, which is why he's one of the top offensive rebounders in basketball. He also plays with more energy, more often, than any of these 24 guys and 99 percent of the league. That is why he makes so many plays -- he has the motor to make the effort and the quickness to get to the ball first. -- Thorpe

    Future: It's hard for an offense to succeed with a power forward who cannot step away from the basket, and Faried is working to develop his shooting. Hoopdata.com shows him attempting more than twice as many shots from 16-23 feet, albeit at a lower percentage his rookie season. Faried must also improve his defensive positioning, since he can be a liability one-on-one. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    12Jrue Holiday
    AGE: 22DOB: 6/12/90HT: 6-4WT: 205POS: PG
    PPG: 19.4APG: 9.0RPG: 4.2 3-YR WARP: 25.1

    Current: As a big-bodied guard with excellent shooting skills in his rookie season, Holiday has morphed into a complete lead guard who can double as a pure scorer when needed. Still younger than many college seniors, he plays like a grizzled veteran in his decision-making and overall control of the game. A borderline All-Star already, Holiday's game truly will explode when he's surrounded by better talent, as he has the hoops IQ to make everyone better. He's learning how to take over games. -- Thorpe

    Future: Based on this season's leap forward, Holiday's upside is immense. As Coach Thorpe stated above, Holiday is young -- younger than everyone but Irving ranked ahead of him. So Holiday has at least another couple of seasons of development ahead of him. Already, Holiday has improved his ability to draw contact, an issue in the past. He has already taken more free throws than he did in all of 2011-12. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 24 | PLAYER CARD

    13Anthony Davis
    AGE: 19DOB: 3/11/93HT: 6-10WT: 220POS: PF
    PPG: 13.2BPG: 1.9RPG: 8.0 3-YR WARP: 25.7

    Current: No player had a better freshman season in college than Davis, when considering how he did as an individual and how his team did. Davis has a huge impact on the game on both ends of the court, though his offense should be considered a pleasant surprise. He knows how to use his extreme level of athleticism and length but does so under control. His pace of play is impressive, balancing that energy with discipline and a good feel for when and how to make plays. -- Thorpe

    Future: As a rookie, Davis has only begun to fulfill the immense potential he showed during his one season at Kentucky. Indeed, Davis is ahead of schedule offensively, but he must bulk up to deal with bigger opponents in the post and become an elite paint defender. That should happen. As he adds strength, Davis will be able to play center, which will open up the Hornets' offense. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    14Greg Monroe
    AGE: 22DOB: 6/4/90HT: 6-11WT: 250POS: PF/C
    PPG: 15.4BPG: 0.6RPG: 9.2 3-YR WARP: 35.9

    Current: Monroe has a very good all-around game; he is a difference-maker on offense with his passing and on defense with his space eating and rebounding. If he finished shots better he would be a top-10 guy here. Monroe has improved greatly since college in playing with more energy and in banging around inside for buckets or to draw fouls. He is a franchise big man waiting for talented teammates to grow up and join him as elite players and playoff contenders. -- Thorpe

    Future: Monroe's versatility confuses SCHOENE, which tabs Garnett among his comparables, but also perimeter players such as Grant Hill and Shawn Marion. His skilled offensive game should age well. To become an All-Star, Monroe must improve his defense. He's not a great fit at either frontcourt position because he's slow-footed on the perimeter and a weak shot blocker. Improved positioning can help compensate for those weaknesses. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 7 | PLAYER CARD

    15Ryan Anderson
    AGE: 24DOB: 5/6/88HT: 6-11WT: 240POS: PF
    PPG: 16.7BPG: 0.3RPG: 6.8 3-YR WARP: 31.5

    Current: There are few big men in the NBA who can shoot jumpers and 3-pointers as well as Anderson. Fewer even who can also rebound with passion, play with toughness, and make plays with their minds like Anderson. He has an elite-level feel for the game, which is why he frequently outplays men with far better size or athleticism, and he finds openings for his shot like an expert while being selective for where his shots come from. He is solid on defense, as well. -- Thorpe

    Future: Gradually, Anderson is showing less dependence on his teammates to set up for high-percentage shots beyond the arc. He has proven that his success wasn't a function of playing with Dwight Howard, and both his usage rate and his percentage of unassisted baskets are up in New Orleans to levels he only reached previously as a second-year reserve in Orlando. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    16Nicolas Batum
    AGE: 24DOB: 12/14/88HT: 6-8WT: 200POS: SF
    PPG: 16.8APG: 4.4RPG: 5.9 3-YR WARP: 21.2

    Current: Batum has transformed from solid starter on a bad team to one of the best two players on a strong playoff contender. He has improved as a shooter and is one of the best few wings in the league at defending ball screens and handoffs -- likely the two most difficult actions for wings to guard. His length and added strength allow him to make plays most can't make, and he's both a legitimate wing scorer and someone who values "Gretzky's"  that all-important extra pass; he rarely gets "sticky" with the ball. -- Thorpe

    Future: As long as Portland has LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard as its primary options on offense, Batum might not be able to take on many more possessions. Still, Batum's growth as a playmaker this season gives Terry Stotts more options in how to use him. Despite his wingspan, Batum still struggles to defend physical small forwards who can overpower him. Adding strength will help. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 21 | PLAYER CARD

    17Thaddeus Young
    AGE: 24DOB: 12/14/88HT: 6-8WT: 200POS: SF
    PPG: 15.0APG: 1.7RPG: 7.3 3-YR WARP: 14.0

    Current: Young is a dynamic athlete who knows his limits -- a rare thing in today's game. Young can have a big impact on an offense because he almost always makes the right decision with the ball or his own movements. Thus, he is a perfect on-court teammate. He also is very good at cutting quickly, and is one of the league's best wing finishers inside 9 feet. Young's quickness helps him close out shooters in time to impact their shot, so he excels at helping and recovering. -- Thorpe

    Future: While Young is thought of as a stretch 4, he's almost completely taken the 3-point shot out of his arsenal, and it will be interesting to see if it ever returns. Young made 56 3-pointers in 2008-09, but over the past two seasons he has made only one in five attempts (one so far in 2012-13). He was decent from downtown, making 33.6 percent career. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 22 | PLAYER CARD

    18Paul George
    AGE: 22DOB: 5/2/90HT: 6-8WT: 221POS: SF
    PPG: 17.3APG: 3.7RPG: 7.7 3-YR WARP: 18.5

    Current: Athleticism, length and toughness have led George toward defensive stardom. He's one of the top-three wing defenders in the NBA and the best defender on the league's best defensive team. He can be both a stopper and a chaos creator, something only a few players can pull off. George finishes possessions by hitting hard the defensive glass, another reason why he enjoys elite status on that end. He's still a work in progress on offense though he's a reliable deep threat and an excellent foul shooter. -- Thorpe

    Future: George's development into a go-to scorer was accelerated by Danny Granger's absence, and there's still more room for him to take control of the Indiana offense as Granger ages and Roy Hibbert struggles to score in the post. Improved ball handling will make George more dangerous in the pick-and-roll, which was the source of many of his turnovers during a slow start to the season. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    19DeMarcus Cousins
    AGE: 22DOB: 8/13/90HT: 6-11WT: 270POS: C
    PPG: 17.8BPG: 0.6RPG: 10.4 3-YR WARP: 34.8

    Current: Cousins is a top-five player in pure talent for this list, top 10 for the entire league. But he lets immaturity drag his impact down as a teammate and in on-court production. He is a beast on both backboards, and he clogs up the paint defensively. His emotional issues are part of his willingness to settle for far too many perimeter shots, keeping him from being the consistently dominant offensive player his skills and size says he can be. That talent is enough to be an MVP. -- Thorpe

    Future: Though Cousins' attitude will determine his future, he also has room for growth as a player. To thrive as a center, Cousins must reverse the decline in his block rate this season and anchor the paint. Offensively, getting his own shot blocked is holding back Cousins' shooting percentage. His 1.6 blocks against per game are fourth in the league, according to Hoopdata.com. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 13 | PLAYER CARD

    20Brandon Jennings
    AGE: 23DOB: 9/23/89HT: 6-1WT: 169POS: PG
    PPG: 18.6APG: 5.8RPG: 3.6 3-YR WARP: 32.5

    Current: One of the NBA's quickest and slickest ballhandlers, Jennings has always been a fun point guard to play with despite not being blessed with special vision. He makes up for it to some degree with his interest in sharing the ball and making the right play, along with his overall passionate effort. Jennings struggles to shut down opposing offensive-minded players, but he does impact that end by using his quickness to get steals or create turnovers, which have helped his team earn a top-10 defensive ranking. -- Thorpe

    Future: SCHOENE loves Jennings' potential, comparing him to Allen Iverson, Gilbert Arenas and Baron Davis. To get on their level, Jennings must improve his 2-point percentage. He's a poor finisher at the rim against bigger defenders. While critics point to Jennings' 3-point attempts, the real problem is the 3.9 shots per game he takes from 16-23 feet and makes at a similar percentage -- without the benefit of an extra point. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: 17 | PLAYER CARD

    21Damian Lillard
    AGE: 22DOB: 7/5/90HT: 6-3WT: 195POS: PG
    PPG: 18.3APG: 6.6RPG: 3.5 3-YR WARP: 21.6

    Current: Lillard is proving that the line between mid-major and high-major college players is almost non-existent. He's quarterbacking a team through the rugged west and into a strong playoff position. Lillard has a lot of Kyrie Irving in him, a solid athlete with a huge set of skills and an excellent feel for game management. He is poised to see big improvement in the second half of the season, but he already is excellent as a spot-up shooter and pick-and-roll player. -- Thorpe

    Future: Because Lillard came into the league so polished, it's difficult to find areas for improvement as a scorer. While he makes good decisions, Lillard can still show growth as a playmaker by seeing more opportunities for passing lanes. Lillard's major growth must come at the defensive end, where he has been abused by top opponents. He has a particularly tough time negotiating screens. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    22Larry Sanders
    AGE: 24DOB: 11/21/88HT: 6-11WT: 235POS: C
    PPG: 8.2RPG: 8.5BPG: 3.2 3-YR WARP: 13.8

    Current: The list of premier shot-blockers is small. Sanders is on that list, and he adds an ability to make offensive plays in the pick-and-roll game. He has become an outstanding paint finisher and a big man who is growing more adept at earning buckets inside despite his thin frame. Beyond his shot-blocking prowess, Sanders is hard to score on with a simple post up, allowing his team the option of not doubling the post entry pass -- a huge benefit. -- Thorpe

    Future: Sanders suffers the same fate as the other elite shot blockers in this group, though in this case he might belong. This season has demonstrated how Sanders can impact games with his blocks and rebounding, but he still struggles at the other end. Per Hoopdata.com, Sanders has shot just 31.1 percent away from the rim this season. More range will keep defenders honest. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    23 DeAndre Jordan
    AGE: 24DOB: 7/21/88HT: 6-11WT: 265POS: C
    PPG: 9.0RPG: 7.0BPG: 1.5 3-YR WARP: 9.5

    Current: Jordan has become a decent post-up player with an assortment of moves and counters. Thanks to Chris Paul, he makes a much bigger impact in the transition game, where his physical talents are on full display. He is playing within himself, which allows him to take only shots he can make at a high percentage. Jordan would not be nearly as effective on a lesser team. He is not the defender Sanders is, but is still a key ingredient to an elite defensive team. -- Thorpe

    Future: Don't be too concerned about Jordan's poor WARP projections. Like Ibaka, Jordan gets compared to one-dimensional shot blockers who lacked his athleticism. Already, Jordan is on track for more than five WARP this season, and he has got more room for growth as experience helps him improve his basketball IQ. Jordan's best match might be Tyson Chandler, who has continued developing into his 30s. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    24Ed Davis
    AGE: 23DOB: 6/5/89HT: 6-10WT: 232POS: PF
    PPG: 9.2RPG: 6.5BPG: 0.8 3-YR WARP: 8.9

    Current: Davis is finally seeing his production match his potential, and the Raptors are now one of the NBA's hottest teams since he has moved into the starting lineup. Davis has real talent to "feel" out a defense's weaknesses and earn easy baskets by moving to the perfect spot on the floor. He gets a lot of dunks this way, and he finishes a high rate of his non-dunks too. Davis works at rebounding every shot, and does so effectively, while making very few mistakes with the ball. -- Thorpe

    Future: With his performance over the past month, Davis has earned the right to stay in the starting lineup after Andrea Bargnani returns, and he might not give up that role for years. Strength remains an issue for the rail-thin Davis, especially in terms of defending the post. MySynergySports.com ranks him 124th out of 152 qualified players in points allowed per post-up. -- Pelton

    LAST TIME: NR | PLAYER CARD

    25Eric Bledsoe
    AGE: 23DOB: 12/9/89HT: 6-1WT: 195POS: PG
    PPG: 8.7APG: 2.7RPG: 2.893-YR WARP: 16.9

    Current: Bledsoe is a bona-fide starter doing his job backing up Chris Paul. He ranks just behind Westbrook on any athlete scale, and he uses his physical talents to destroy defenders off the dribble and in the paint. He's dramatically improved as a shooter and his ball control, while probably being the best perimeter defender on a top-five defensive team thanks to his power, aggressiveness and quickness. He's one of just a few guards who must be accounted for as an offensive rebounder. -- Thorpe

    Future: The main thing Bledsoe needs is minutes, as his performance while Paul was out with a bruised knee demonstrated. Assuming the Clippers hold on to Bledsoe through the trade deadline, improving his 3-point shooting will make it easier for Vinny Del Negro to play him and Paul together in a devastating defensive backcourt. As a starting point guard down the road, Bledsoe will have to cut his high turnover rate. -- Pelton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paul at 18? Yeah Right
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    One of the worst lists i've ever seen.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    To be clear: This is a ranking of how we would order these players if we were starting a franchise and would have them for the next several years, not just this season.
    classic

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  6. #4
    FREE LANCE MillerTime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    How are Faried, Ryan Anderson and Thaddeus Young considered better than PG?
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Paul is clearly the best 3rd man on that list

    Durant
    Westbrook
    George

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    What a joke lol. Paul is definitely top 12.

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    The ONLY thing Nic Batum does better than PG is assisting (outside of 6% better on FTs but it's 81% compared to 87%). Batum averages 0.7 assists more. Paul scores more, rebounds more, defends better, shoots the same percentage from the field, better on 3s, and to top it all off is two years younger.

    I know it's only two positions, but how exactly does Batum get rated better?

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    I think PG24 should be in at least top 10, but TBH, at least a Pacer got mentioned in an ESPN article.....

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Yeah, this list is pretty terrible.

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Just lost a lot of respect for Thorpe. He only watches who he wants (his clients and the stars).

  16. #11

    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    ESPN is pretty terrible for sports columns nowadays. I wouldn't put any stock into anything they say. Their 'experts' are usually pretty clueless.

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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    If I was starting a franchise I'd choose George over Harden. Sure Harden can score quickly but, George can put up 30 and hold your best player to 17pt on 5 for 19 shooting. Oh wait that just happened last week. Hmmm and who were we playing?
    I'm a Beast

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    And no John Wall or any Jazz players? Maybe Hollinger wasn't as bad as I thought after all.

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  22. #14
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    Default

    Ed Davis on this list over drummond...uh, no.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    People pay money for that crap.

    Monroe compared to Grant Hill and Shawn Marion, love Monroe, but what a horrible comparison. Ryan Anderson is a niche player, should not be on this list, what a joke.

    Rose a "reluctant" superstar, HA HA, wasn't it just last season the big flair up over him complaining about not getting superstar calls like he thinks he should. Not saying he shouldn't be high on the list if healthy, but a big misrepresentation of his personality. He's not Durant like, Rose is weird and kinda flaky.

    Love Stephen Curry, but the best shooter on earth....... ever? Come on now, he's not even the best shooter on his team and it's not close.

    This is one horribly written article with made up "facts".
    "Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Horrible list.

  27. #17
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    I stopped reading when I saw "top three defensive wing player," and "best defender on the best defensive team," right next to the number "18."

  28. #18
    Go Paytherth! rel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Ryan Anderson??...Ryan Anderson?

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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    The list is pretty good for a popularity contest.
    .

    Frank Vogel says "Killer instinct, start strong, build a lead and then step on their throats."

  31. #20
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    what happened to Wall?
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



  32. #21

    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    He put Ryan Anderson, a one skill player, over Paul George. I am surprised this writer is competent enough to use a computer because judging by this article he is just awful at his job.

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Yes Ryan Anderson shouldn't be that high, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be on the list, the guy is pretty good, some of you have not seen the guy play I think.

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    I thought surely we would see Paul in the top 10, then I saw Serge Ibaka's name at number 7 and about pooped myself with laughter. Also, Faried at 11 is pretty hilarious.

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  36. #24
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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoop View Post
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    People pay money for that crap.

    Monroe compared to Grant Hill and Shawn Marion, love Monroe, but what a horrible comparison. Ryan Anderson is a niche player, should not be on this list, what a joke.

    Rose a "reluctant" superstar, HA HA, wasn't it just last season the big flair up over him complaining about not getting superstar calls like he thinks he should. Not saying he shouldn't be high on the list if healthy, but a big misrepresentation of his personality. He's not Durant like, Rose is weird and kinda flaky.

    Love Stephen Curry, but the best shooter on earth....... ever? Come on now, he's not even the best shooter on his team and it's not close.

    This is one horribly written article with made up "facts".
    Everything on that last is pretty bad, except the one thing you chose to complain about. Curry is the best shooter in the NBA, and when his career is over he'll probably be known as the greatest shooter ever.
    Find me on the internets @mattiecolin

    Read it and weep:

    When George Hill is above 15% usage we won 73.5% of games. Below 15% usage we won 61.9%

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    Default Re: Top 25 under 25 article

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Yes Ryan Anderson shouldn't be that high, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be on the list, the guy is pretty good, some of you have not seen the guy play I think.
    I think we have all seen him play. I seem to remember a certain series in which Orlando got bounced where Anderson averaged 9.6 points and 4 rebs without their best player. Yeah, he is really good.

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