Houston Rockets' James Harden
The 12 young NBA stars included on this list have demonstrated consistent production this season to varying degrees.
There is one player who will undoubtedly be an All-Star this season. A few others might be, while the majority of this group could become All-Stars in the future.
Each young star was selected from the pool of all NBA players 23 years old or younger.
Any player turning 24 by season's end, or older, was not eligible.
Blake Griffin, for example, turns 24 years old in March. In that same month Stephen Curry will turn 25. Neither Griffin or Curry were included in this group for that reason.
This list of young NBA stars firmly on the rise this season ranges from rookies to fourth-year NBA veterans.
There are four point guards on this list, four shooting guards, three forwards and one center.
Each young star is then ranked according to how high they've risen this season respectively.
*All statistics are as of January 14.
Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe is the only non-starter on this list.
Young stars help teams win in this league, though, which is exactly what Bledsoe is doing in his role off the bench this season.
Along with Jamal Crawford, Bledsoe currently anchors a reserve unit for the Los Angeles Clippers that is leading the league in overall efficiency according to Hoopstats.com.
If he wasn't backing up the league's best point guard right now, Bledsoe could be a starter on at least 10 other teams around the NBA.
Individually, he ranks sixth among all point guards in player efficiency rating.
After missing time last year due to injury, he's been healthy enough to play in all 37 games through Monday. His points, assists and rebounding numbers have all risen from a season ago as a result.
Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is in his fourth NBA season. He doesn't turn 24 until August.
He opened the 2011-12 campaign by only averaging 14 points in his first 22 games. If you went to sleep on DeRozan because of that, though, it's time to wake up.
Over his last 14 games this season, DeRozan has averaged 17.5 points for a Raptors team that's rattled off a 10-4 record since December 14.
After beginning the 2012-13 season at 4-19, Toronto is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference.
The 17.9 points that DeRozan has averaged in 36 starts on the year currently leads the Raptors in scoring.
He is also the fifth-highest scoring shooting guard in the NBA through Monday and is only getting better.
Charlotte Bobcats' Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker was drafted by a Charlotte Bobcats organization in 2011 that's only won 16 times since his arrival.
Despite the inherent frustrations of playing for an NBA bottom feeder, Walker continues to make the most of a difficult situation.
This season, specifically, he's proving to be a player worth building around in Charlotte.
Surrounded by a lack of scoring threats, he's managed to go for 20 or more points 12 times in his first 36 games.
The 17.6 points he averages is a team high. It also ranks Walker 25th in the NBA overall in that category.
He's demonstrated a depth to his offensive game this season as well by improving his assists average to 5.8 per game through Monday.
As the talent eventually improves in Charlotte and defenses can no long key solely on stopping Walker, he will only become more dangerous.
Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried is a double-double waiting to happen.
While averaging 12.2 points and 10.2 rebounds for the season, the energetic big man provides consistent production for the Denver Nuggets on a nightly basis.
He's improved his rebounding totals by nearly three boards per game this season. He's also increased his scoring by two points following a strong rookie effort a year ago.
Settling into a starting role on a regular basis this season, Faried has helped Denver to the sixth-best record in the Western Conference through Monday.
Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is the starting shooting guard for the NBA's seventh-best team in terms of overall record as of Monday.
Some considered Thompson a reach at 11th overall when the Golden State Warriors selected him there two summers ago. Since then, however, he's proven to be well worth the investment.
This season, Thompson's improved his scoring average from 12.5 points as a rookie to 15.8 in his second year.
The 2.7 three-pointers made per game he currently averages ranks fourth in the league.
His three-point percentage has dipped some from his previous mark of 41.4 percent, but at 38.6 so far this season, he is still a long-range threat that defenses must account for on a nightly basis.
While there is room for improvement, Thompson is most definitely trending upward. He is also a major reason why the Warriors are destined for the NBA playoffs.
Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is the only rookie on this list.
He didn't need all of the 37 NBA games he's played so far to prove his staying power as a young star in this league either.
That much was evident immediately.
His Portland Trail Blazers currently hold the eighth-best record in the Western Conference because of his emergence this season.
Before he turns 23 in July, Lillard will have also earned the title of Rookie of the Year. Assuming he hasn't already.
Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe
If you thought the near double-double that Greg Monroe averaged last season was a fluke, then you were wrong.
Thirty-eight games into the 2012-13 campaign, Monroe is back, averaging 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Detroit Pistons through Monday.
Both numbers are good enough to lead his team in each category.
What's also encouraging about Monroe's continued rise this season is his ability to remain effective alongside rookie Andre Drummond.
As these two players continue to develop together, the Pistons will feature a formidable duo up front for years to come.
That's not possible without Monroe's talent and maturity as a rising star in only his third season.
Indiana Pacers' Paul George
We knew Paul George was a high-flier prior to the 2012-13 NBA season.
Since assuming the primary scoring role vacated by Danny Granger's injury, however, he's proving his value as an all-around star.
The supreme athleticism that George plays with is still there. Only now, the Indiana Pacers forward is translating that talent into consistent production on a nightly basis.
As of Monday, George has started 37 games for the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.
He is up from 12.1 points per game last season to 16.9 this year. His rebounding totals are also up to 7.9 per night while he's dishing out 3.7 assists.
Philadelphia 76ers' Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday has done everything for the Philadelphia 76ers this season.
As Andrew Bynum continues to remain sidelined, Holiday has taken it upon himself to generate just about all of the Sixers' offense.
He leads his team in scoring at 18.7 points per night. He's also dishing out a team-high 8.8 assists.
An afterthought in the "top NBA point guards" discussion previously, Holiday has played his way into that conversation this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka is proving to be more than simply a dominating shot-blocker this season.
Being forced into a scoring role upon the departure of James Harden, Ibaka has effectively added that new element to his game.
He's increased his scoring average by 5.2 points in the process while playing only five more minutes than he did a season ago.
Ibaka's rebounding totals have also increased and he's shooting a career-best 56.7 percent from floor.
The Oklahoma City Thunder big man does not turn 24 until September.
Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving
Despite the loses that continue to pile up for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving has played like an All-Star this season.
His perimeter defense does need to improve, but his offensive game is way ahead of schedule in his second NBA season.
Through 28 games, Irving currently ranks 14th in terms of player efficiency rating.
The reigning Rookie of the Year has also improved his scoring total by over five points from a season ago. The 23.3 points he's averaged ranks sixth among all players through Monday.
Despite missing 12 games due to injury, Irving has scored 30 or more points five times this season.
As his star continues to rise, Irving is on track to challenge Chris Paul for the NBA's best point guard title much sooner than people may think.
Houston Rockets' James Harden
The beard makes James Harden seem older than he really is.
Underneath that facial hair, though, is a fourth-year NBA star who doesn't turn 24 until August.
Considered the league's top reserve a season ago, Harden is putting up All-NBA numbers right now for the Houston Rockets.
Operating as the focal point of the Rockets offense, Harden has increased his scoring average by 9.7 points compared to his previous season in Oklahoma City.
His 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds are also career highs.
Harden entered this season widely recognized as a very good NBA player. He is now among the league's elite.