Future Stars of the NBA: Top Five Up-and-Comers
The NBA still has loads of young talent but a good number of the league's superstars, including Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, are heading into the later stages of their careers. Here is a look at some possible future stars of the NBA.
5. Stephen Curry PG/SG—Davidson (Junior)
Weight: 185 lbs
The country's leader in points emerged onto the scene in last years NCAA tournament scoring 128 points in four tournament games. Curry established himself as a star and is one of the deadliest scorers in college basketball.
Curry has the ability to take over games, and is an extremely streaky shooter. Many have doubts about Curry's chance of having NBA success because of his small frame but Curry has continued to silence the doubters and will certainly get his chance when he is drafted.
4. Brandon Jennings PG—Lottomatica Roma, Italy
Weight: 170 lbs
The Naismith High School Player of the Year in 2008, Jennings created a big buzz by opting to skip college and go play professionally in the Euroleauge. Jennings is a quick lefty guard who is a great ball handler and has good range on his jumper.
Jennings is a very athletic kid and is known to be very creative with the ball and can create opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Like Curry, scouts worry about his size, but playing in the Euroleauge, which is considered to have the best competition outside of the NBA, should increase his value. It’s a little early to predict what kind of NBA player Jennings will be but his potential is sky high.
3. James Harden SG—Arizona State (Sophomore)
Weight: 218 lbs
Another lefty, Harden is an efficient guard who can pass, rebound, and led the Pac-10 in steals last season. He is strong and not afraid of contact. Harden drives the lanes, draws fouls, and knocks down his free throws.
He is an explosive scorer but some have doubts about his athleticism and worry he turns the ball over too much. Harden has all the necessary tools to be a solid NBA player.
2. Blake Griffin PF—Oklahoma (Sophomore)
Weight: 251 lbs
An athletic big man, Griffin is a monster on the boards, good passer, and a great low post player. Griffin is extremely tough and has a big NBA size build. After battling injuries his freshman year, Griffin has made a name for himself impressing NBA scouts with his tenacity and raw athleticism.
However, he is a poor free throw shooter and doesn't get many blocks despite his stature. Griffin is a sure lock as a top five pick and will surely be able to help an NBA team with his versatility.
1. Ricky Rubio PG—DKV Joventut, Spain
Weight: 180 lbs
This 18-year-old Spaniard become eligible for the NBA this year and has many basketball fans extremely excited. Rubio started for the Spain national team in the Beijing Olympics at 17-years-old, and proved himself deserving with his stellar play.
Drawing comparison to NBA legend Pistol Pete Maravich, Rubio dazzles spectators with amazing passes and sheer creativity. Rubio is extremely unselfish, always looking for the open teammate. His great court vision, offensive and defensive quickness, and solid jumper all make him a very hard guard and solid defender.
Rubio did have surgery on his wrist so some worry it may effect improvement on his jumper, but Rubio is a sure top five pick if he chooses to enter the 2009 NBA draft and will be exciting to watch.
Hasheem Thabeet, Jrue Holiday, Greg Monroe, Jordan Hill, Jerome Jordan, Tyler Hansbrough, DeMar DeRozan, Cole Aldrich, Earl Clark.
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