Ranking the Top 5 Young Backcourts in the NBA

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Ranking the Top 5 Young Backcourts in the NBA
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

It's a young man's world, and these budding NBA backcourt buddies are ready to prove it.

Stephen Curry still gets carded at restaurants, which makes his disqualification from our list of the NBA's best young backcourts feel wrong. Baby-faced as the Golden State Warriors' superstar is, his 26 years on Planet Earth mean he and Klay Thompson don't qualify for our (admittedly arbitrary) under-25 cutoff.

Them's the rules, though: Both players involved must be 25 or under to qualify here.

The age cutoff means some of the usual suspects won't make the list. Sincerest apologies to Goran Dragic, 28, and Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns as well.

We could have stretched things to include Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas, both of whom make the age cut, but we're looking for starting pairs here. Besides, we don't yet know how well or how often Bledsoe and IT2 will play together.

Likewise, James Harden has Patrick Beverley's 26th birthday to thank for his exclusion.

The strict parameters leave us with a field of very young, very talented players—many of whom could be ready for a massive leap in the 2014-15 season. Projected growth will be a significant factor, but the statistics from these players' 2013-14 efforts will also weigh heavily into the rankings.

In an effort to remove as much statistical noise as possible, we'll place an emphasis on each player's individual efficiency rating along with the PER he allowed to opponents at his position.

Don't worry if you're not into numbers; chemistry and gut feel (not to mention the eye test) will also factor in.

 

*Individual player efficiency ratings via Basketball-Reference.com. Opponent PER via 82games.com.

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