Best Young NBA Players to Watch in 2022

Best Young NBA Players to Watch in 2022

The National Basketball Association is dedicated to providing the greatest possible experience for its fans. If you are interested in finding out who the new up-and-coming NBA stars are, you have come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at the best young NBA players in 2022 and what they’ve done so far.

10 Best Young NBA Players in 2021

Bam Adebayo

Born on 18 July 1997, Edrice Femi “Bam” Adebayo is an NBA player for the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat drafted him in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft after one season of playing college basketball at the University of Kentucky for the Kentucky Wildcats. Bam Adebayo is changing the game’s definition of a centre, making him one of the best modern NBA centres.

According to Bam Adebayo stats, he was ranked among the best young NBA players in terms of field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks per game. In season 2018-19, he was the only Heat player to play in all 82 games. In addition, Adebayo was chosen for the NBA All-Defensive Second Team on two occasions, in seasons 2019-20 and 2020-21, and participated in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game as a member of Team Giannis.

During his five seasons with the Miami Heat under one of the best coaches in the game, Erik Spoelstra, Adebayo has averaged 12.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 310 regular-season games. He was selected to play in 1 All-Star game.

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum is one of the best under-the-radar young NBA players. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on 3 March 1998, Tatum was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft after playing one collegiate season for the Duke Blue Devils at Duke University. He was also selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie first team. Tatum was a part of the national basketball team at the 2020 Olympics, along with Bam Adebayo.

When it comes to Jayson Tatum’s position, he combines elite perimeter defence with an impressive scoring profile, making him a perfect power forward player. Being a two-time NBA Skills Challenge participant, he won the 2019 Skills Challenge during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Playing 5 seasons for the Celtics, Jayson Tatum career stats stand at averaged 20.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 334 regular-season games. He was selected to play in 2 All-Star games.

Jamal Murray

Born on 23 February 1997, this Canadian basketball player currently plays for the Denver Nuggets and is a member of the Canadian national basketball team. Jamal played one season of collegiate basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats before being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the 2016 NBA Draft. Murray has fought his way up the Denver Nuggets’ playoff roster to become a starting point guard/shooting guard and has shown significant scoring ability.

Jamal Murray has been a member of the Nuggets for five seasons. Looking at Jamal Murray’s stats, we can see that in 345 regular-season games, he averaged 16.3 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds. On 20 February 2021, Murray became the first player in NBA history to score 50 points without shooting a free throw and the second player to achieve 50 points while shooting over 80% from the field and three-point range.

Ja Morant

Temetrius Jamel “Ja” Morant is a basketball player playing at the point guard position for the Memphis Grizzlies. Aged only 22, he is one of the best young NBA players under 23. Morant played two seasons of college basketball for the Murray State Racers, averaging 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game. In the 2018-19 season, he received the Bob Cousy Award as the greatest point guard in the country, and he became the first NCAA player to average 20 points and 10 assists per game.

Ja Morant’s Grizzlies career started with the 2019 NBA draft when the Grizzlies picked him as the second overall pick, and he was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020. He is one of just seven rookies in NBA history to average at least 17 points and seven assists a game. Ja Morant has played three seasons for the Grizzlies, averaging 20.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 167 regular-season games.  

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson plays as a power forward for the NBA team New Orleans Pelicans and he is also one of the NBA players with a shoe deal. Born in 2000, Williamson led his high school basketball team to three consecutive state titles and received his first college scholarship offer as a freshman. 

He earned AP Player of the Year and Sporting News College Player of the Year awards during his one season at Duke University, when he averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. After a great rookie season with the Duke Blue Devils, he was drafted by the New Orleans in the 2019 NBA Draft.

In 2020, Zion Williamson was chosen to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He was the fourth-youngest NBA player to be selected to an All-Star game in 2021, scoring 10 points and 1 rebound in 14 minutes for Team Durant. Zion Williamson has played two seasons for the Pelicans and has averaged 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 85 regular-season games.

LaMelo Ball

Aged only 20, LaMelo Ball is a basketball player in the NBA for the Charlotte Hornets. LaMelo Ball’s contract with the Hornets was signed when they called in to officially select the 20-year-old point guard with the third overall selection in the 2020 NBA draft.

He made his debut in Lithuania at age 16, making him the youngest American to sign a professional basketball contract. 

In 2018, Ball played for Los Angeles Ballers in the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), a league alternative to collegiate basketball. However, due to eligibility problems, Ball skipped playing college basketball and signed a two-year contract with the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League in 2019, winning NBL Rookie of the Year. He joined the Hawks through the NBL Next Stars program, which is designed to develop NBA draft prospects.

When it comes to Ball’s career as a player for an NBA team, he has played 2 seasons for the Hornets, and has averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in 93 regular-season games. In 2021, Ball was named winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

Trae Young

Rayford Trae Young is a 23-year-old NBA player who plays at the point guard position for the Atlanta Hawks. Young attended Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma, where he led his team to the 2015 area championship in his sophomore year. He was awarded Oklahoma’s Sophomore of the Year. 

When it comes to his collegiate basketball career, he played for the Oklahoma Sooners and became the first player in NCAA history to lead in both points and assists in the same season. 

In the 2018 NBA Draft, Young was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and then traded to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the rights to third overall selection Luka Doncic. He was selected to the 2019 NBA All-Rookie First Team alongside Luka Doncic and participated in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, playing for Team Giannis.

Trae Young has played 4 seasons for the Hawks and has averaged 24.7 points, 8.9 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 247 regular-season games. He has won 3 NBA Player of the Week and 4 NBA Rookie of the Month. 

Donovan Mitchell

Born on 7 September 1996, Donovan Mitchell is a shooting and point guard for the NBA team, the Utah Jazz. Mitchell grew up playing baseball and basketball, but he eventually opted for the latter. Playing for Louisville Cardinals throughout his collegiate career, he became a First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree as a sophomore and an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA draft. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets but immediately traded to the Utah Jazz on draft night.

Donovan Mitchell dominated the NBA in his outstanding rookie season. He was selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest, and was voted the second Rookie of the Year during his rookie season. Mitchell was named twice as an NBA All-Star in 2020 and 2021. During his five seasons playing for the Jazz, Mitchell has averaged 23.7 points, 4.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 318 regular-season games. 

Devin Booker

Devin Booker plays as a shooting guard for the Phoenix Suns NBA team. This 25-year-old participated in the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game before playing collegiate basketball for the University of Kentucky for one season. Booker was never expected to rise to the level he has, and he has become one of the best young players in the NBA.

He never played a single game in the starting lineup throughout his lone season at Kentucky University. However, everything changed when the Phoenix Suns drafted him in the 2015 NBA Draft. Since Devin Booker’s contract with the Phoenix Suns was signed, he has managed to become the third-youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points in a game during his rookie season. 

On 24 March 2017, Booker became the youngest player in NBA history to score over 60 points in a game, scoring 70 against the Boston Celtics. In 2019, Booker became the NBA’s youngest player with consecutive 50-point games when he was only 22 years old. Devin Booker has played 7 seasons for the Suns, has averaged 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 449 regular-season games, and was selected to play in 2 All-Star games.

Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic, aged 22, currently plays as a point and shooting guard for the Dallas Mavericks. and is a member of the Slovenian national basketball team. Doncic rose to prominence after joining Real Madrid at the age of 16, becoming the club’s youngest player ever. He led Real Madrid to the 2018 EuroLeague championship victory, earning nearly every international “rising star” award, and was named MVP of the Round, becoming the youngest player ever to do so.

Doncic was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2018 NBA Draft but was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He has rapidly established himself as one of the best guards in the NBA, boosting his team’s odds to a near-lock playoff team. He has set numerous records as one of the best young NBA players under 23. 

Doncic has played 4 seasons for the Mavericks, and has averaged 25.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 233 regular-season games. He was also selected to play in 2 All-Star games, and has won the NBA Rookie of the Year award, becoming only the second European player to do so.

Conclusion

Thanks to these promising players, it can be said that the NBA has a bright future ahead. With their impressive stats, achievements, and overall careers,  it’s no wonder why precisely these 10 are considered the best young NBA players. And the best thing is because they are so young, we can enjoy watching them achieve so much more in many years to come.

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