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Lance Stephenson, SG, Indiana Pacers
He may have been snubbed from this year's All-Star Game, but Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson is an absolute gem who's primed to explode.
And as Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes noted, Stephenson will assuredly find himself in the mix for midseason honors as the years pass:
Don't worry, Lance. You're a rising star who'll cash in as a free agent very soon, and you've got a championship chase to keep the sadness away.
Stephenson missed out this time, but I'm guessing this won't be the last time he joins the All-Star conversation.
At only 23 years old, Stephenson has been wreaking havoc on opponents with his relentless energy and unmatched motor, one that has helped the Pacers become the league's premier defense.
Stephenson also recently notched his fourth triple-double this season, which is two more than any other player has compiled during the 2013-14 campaign, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
Think this is a questionable selection? Think again.
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams has been the saving grace of the 2013 draft class, averaging better than 17 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals a game.
Those numbers look terrific, but the meaning behind them is enhanced when you come to realize that the only other player to average those numbers during a rookie season was Magic Johnson during the 1979-80 campaign, according to Basketball Reference.
The 22-year-old's shot could still use a fair bit of work, but Carter-Williams' desire to embrace the role of fearless floor general under Brett Brown has the Sixers' future looking bright.
Serge Ibaka, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook missed the cut due to the age requirement, but Serge Ibaka certainly qualifies, as the versatile Oklahoma City Thunder power forward still has seven more months until he turns 25.
Quickly evolving into a terrifying force on both ends of the floor, Ibaka isn't only blocking shots at an elite level (2.52 blocks per game, No. 3 overall), but he's shooting 53.8 percent from the field and a solid 36.1 percent from three while knocking down a wildly impressive 47.8 percent of his attempts between 16-24 feet, per NBA.com.
A matchup nightmare, Ibaka is only beginning to scratch the surface of his pro potential as he's helped guide the Thunder to the Western Conference's best record to this point in the season.