Let's Get Way Ahead of Ourselves: Predicting the 2025 NBA All-Star Class

Preston EllisContributor IFebruary 14, 2020

Let's Get Way Ahead of Ourselves: Predicting the 2025 NBA All-Star Class

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    The NBA continues to enjoy monumental success both in global and domestic markets, due in large part to its surplus of flourishing superstars. 

    Despite catastrophic injuries to league leaders like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, John Wall and even rookie phenom Zion Williamson, the salary cap continues to¬†rise‚ÄĒbecause a new group of heroes has emerged to usher in the future of the NBA.¬†

    While Durant rests, Ja Morant explodes with numbers that only five rookies have bested in NBA history. And the kid does it with flare. 

    While the previous lords from Golden State recover and replenish their power, Williamson has spread across the globe like a firestorm with numbers not seen by a rookie since...well, ever! 

    As the game continues to evolve and flourish with each advancement, we predict the next wave of superstars who will take the game even further into prosperity.

    Here are our 2025 All-Stars.  

Bam Adebayo

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    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Current Team: Miami Heat

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 15.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 57.9 FG%, 20.7 PER

    2025 Age: 27

    Adebayo has blossomed and exceeded every expectation. Seen as a low-post enforcer early on, the 2017 14th pick used his defensive success to surpass and unseat Hassan Whiteside, eventually leading to the big man's departure. 

    But his game has evolved far more since. In addition to being a top-15 rebounder, Bam has emerged as a low-post facilitator, dishing out 4.9 assists per game. Only Giannis Antetokoumnpo boards-and-shares more. His 22.2 assist percentage ranks in the 99th percentile among 5s, making him one of the most dangerous bigs on the offensive end of the floor in addition to his defensive prominence. 

    Small ball may be the future of the NBA, and Adebayo's place within it is secure now and hereafter. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Current Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 19.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.2 APG, 17.6 PER

    2025 Age: 26

    The rebuild isn't going as planned in Oklahoma City, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is mostly to blame. After the shocking Paul George trade, the Thunder blew it up by sending Russell Westbrook to Houston. 

    In their stead, Alexander's silky-smooth game has emerged alongside Chris Paul's. This versatile scorer doesn't have the jaw-dropping athleticism or human-highlight reels of Ja Morant, but his on-court effect is distinct. He's scored 20 points or more in 30 games this season with just a 24.5 percent usage rate while playing multiple positions. In fact, Alexander's most productive time has come at the 3, where the Thunder outscore their opponents by 32.9 points per 100 possessions (100th percentile). 

    The future is bright for him. Once the Thunder inevitably move on from Paul, the keys will transfer to the new face of the franchise. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Current Team: Milwaukee Bucks

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 30.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 5.8 APG, 32.2 PER

    2025 Age: 30

    This one should be undebatable. 

    Giannis Antetokounmpo is already putting up per-36 numbers that the league has never seen. At just 25 years of age, he's putting together a first-ballot Hall of Fame career. Only one other player (Antoine Walker) has compiled five seasons of 1,350 points, 600 rebounds and 350 assists before turning 26.

    There's no reason to think he's going to slow down any time soon. He's never missed more than 10 games in a season, and the Milwaukee Bucks have kept him on a favorable workload. After finishing outside of the top 40 in minutes played in his MVP season, his time on the court has dipped out of the top 70 in 2019-20. Despite a decreased workload, he's still putting together what should be another MVP season. 

    The Greek Freak will be an All-Star for years to come. 

Devin Booker

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Current Team: Phoenix Suns

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 26.4 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.2 RPG, 20.6 PER

    2025 Age: 28

    Thanks to a little help from Damian Lillard, Devin Booker's exclusion from the 2020 All-Star Game has been corrected. 

    Volume scoring has been something the 23-year-old has done more than most. Only five other players at that age have scored 1,000 points or more in their first five seasons. He's also emerged as one of the game's best all-around playmakers. After averaging 4.7 assists in his third season, Booker saw his usage rate spike in 2018-19 and his totals with it. Booker is one of four players to average at least 25.0 points and 6.3 assists per game over the last two seasons.

    That the Suns have yet to get all that close to the playoffs with Booker has hurt his reputation, but a better supporting cast‚ÄĒin Phoenix or somewhere else‚ÄĒshould help Booker be an All-Star for years to come.¬†

Jaylen Brown

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Current Team: Boston Celtics

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  20.2 PTS, 6.4 TRB, 2.2 AST, 17.2 PER 

    2025 Age: 28

    Fresh off a four-year, $115 million extension, Jaylen Brown has seen his production spike in nearly every notable category. This motorized, defensive-minded wing has emerged as more than a high-level three-and-D wing, developing into a top-30 player. 

    His versatility at the 2, 3 and even 4 make him one of the more switchable wings in the NBA. His increasing usage and pick-and-pop skill set on the offensive end make him too quick for 3s and 4s, with too much size for typical 2s. 

    Five Thirty Eight's projections soured on Brown following a dip in production in 2018-19, but his defense and overall impact (7.1 net rating) promise high levels of value for years to come. 

John Collins

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    Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

    Current Team: Atlanta Hawks

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 20.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 61.5 eFG%, 22.7 PER

    2025 Age: 27

    The raw data John Collins compiles every night is beginning to demand notice to even the most casual observers. This walking 20/10 is one of only two players ever (Charles Barkley) to average 20 points, 10 rebounds on 60 effective field-goal percentage or better in his first three seasons. 

    Offensively, he's one of the league's most exciting bigs. The perfect pick-and-roll partner to Trae Young, Collins dives on 28.1 percent of his possessions. His three-point stroke has steadily improved, up to 35.5 percent on 3.6 attempts. 

    Collins rightfully draws concern for his defense. While he's arguably suited as a small-ball 5, opponents shoot 65.6 percent at the rim when he plays there (31st percentile). 

    If Collins can improve his defensive production and play on teams that frequently get into postseason contention, he'll be an All-Star soon and for years to come. 

Cade Cunningham

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Current Team: Montverde Academy

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: NA

    2025 Age: 23 

    It may seem a bit preemptive to look this far into the future, but Cade Cunningham has given us reason to be optimistic. 

    In addition to being ranked No. 3 in the ESPN 100 Recruiting Database, Cunningham is the focal point for what could be the best high school basketball team of all time, according to Draft Express expert Jonathan Givony. His group is unblemished at 25-0. 

    Ricky O'Donnell of SB Nation even goes so far as to crown him the future of the NBA due to his size and NBA-evolved skill set. 

    "If Cade were in the draft this year, I think he'd be the No. 1 pick," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. 

    It seems like a safe bet that Cunningham may continue his ascendance in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and beyond in the NBA. 

Anthony Davis

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Current Team: Los Angeles Lakers

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 26.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.4 BPG, 1.6 SPG, 28.3 PER

    2025 Age: 31

    The 2017-18 finalist for both MVP and DPOY got his trade wish. The gamble has paid off handsomely, as Davis' squad is only seven wins away (41-12) from his highest previous total in New Orleans (48) with 29 games left to play. 

    As far as numbers? We know he's a Hall of Famer. Other than Davis, only Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson have collected 12,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists, 1,000 blocks and 700 steals in their first eight seasons. No one has toppled the feat at his age (26). 

    Health is the only thing that can slow down this seven-time All-Star, three-time block champion and three-time All-Defensive teamer from joining this group in 2025. 

Luka Doncic

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Current Team: Dallas Mavericks

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 28.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 8.7 APG, 29.2 PER

    2025 Age: 25

    Along with Giannis, Luka Doncic should be the easiest to sell. Already an MVP candidate in his just his second season, only Oscar Robertson has replicated Doncic's averages in his first two seasons. 

    First in offensive rating and eighth in offensive real plus-minus, Doncic makes the Dallas Mavericks can't-miss television. He shoots 73 percent at the rim (better than Zion), and he's the third-most efficient scorer as a pick-and-roll ball-handler with six attempts or more per game (Kemba Walker, Damian Lillard). 

    Better still, this current All-Star starter has his Mavericks exceeding expectation with a comfortable¬†8.5-game¬†lead over the ninth-seeded Blazers. Doncic will be an All-Star for years to come, and by 2025, he'll be cresting into his prime‚ÄĒa scary proposition considering where he is already.¬†

Donte DiVincenzo

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Current Team: Milwaukee Bucks

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 9.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 14.8 PER

    2025 Age: 28

    Why not have a little fun with this?! Donte DiVincenzo promises to be our most controversial pick, but there are reasons to be optimistic. 

    For starters, the Milwaukee Bucks have outscored opponents by a staggering 16.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, which is the top on-court net rating of any player in the NBA. His box score numbers don't draw attention, with a modest season-high of 19 points. Still, his dramatic improvement from his freshman to sophomore seasons in every significant statistical category indicates growth yet unrealized. Should this replicate itself in 2020-21, we may have an early candidate for Most Improved Player. 

    He's done this without much opportunity. With massive usage players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton, DiVincenzo's usage ranks in the 17th percentile. 

    On the defensive side of things, DiVincenzo already grades out in the 97th percentile in steal percentage, 90th on the offensive glass and 92nd on defensive. He's second in the NBA in defensive rating and ninth among shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus. 

    With more consistent opportunity, DiVincenzo may wildly outperform his 17th draft position in 2018. If nothing else, The Big Ragu should become a Danny Green with handle. 

Joel Embiid

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Current Team: Philadelphia 76ers

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  22.9 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 3.2 APG, 24.9 PER

    2025 Age: 30

    Injury history could be a concern, but based on talent, track record and age, we can't leave Joel Embiid off this list. He's 250 missed games in his first five seasons due to significant foot injuries, which could signal a shortened career. He also absorbs contact more than most. 

    For now, he's one of the most devastating two-way players in the NBA. Capable of controlling a game on both ends, Embiid has the talent and size to be the best in the NBA when dialed in. 

    One of just eight players to average 20.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists and have 350 blocks in his first four seasons, Embiid is on a stable path to the Hall of Fame if he can continue this level of production into 2025. 

James Harden

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Current Team: Houston Rockets

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  35.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 7.3 APG, 29.0 PER

    2025 Age: 35

    He's getting up there, but unlike most Harden will age like a fine wine.

    For the second time in his career, Harden leads the NBA in minutes played per game (37.1)‚ÄĒat 30 years old. But his production hasn't dipped one iota. With 35.3 points per game, he is leading the NBA in scoring¬†for the third straight season.¬†

    His inevitable drop-off in athleticism shouldn't be a concern because he never had much to begin with. Of course, his deceleration and strength could be compromised in time, but this basketball savant is one of the best ever at finding ways to score by any means necessary. 

    Regardless of whether he's still on top of his game, he'll go down as one of the game's best scorers of all time. Only two players have matched his totals in scoring, rebounding and assists through 11 seasons (Oscar Robertson, LeBron James).

Tyler Herro

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Current Team: Miami Heat

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  13.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 11.6 PER

    2025 Age: 25

    If we had a tracking algorithm self-pride, Tyler Herro might headline this roster. 

    "I like it when people are against me," Herro told Bleacher Report's Mirin Fader. "Pretty much whoever I'm going against, I feel like I'm gonna just kill 'em."

    Herro has already emerged as a Kyle Korver-esque sniper and volume scorer, having contributed 20 points or more in nine games this season. 

    Herro is one of just 15 rookies ever to average 13 points or more on 39 percent shooting from three and one of only two to do so making two from distance per game (Steph Curry). Herro's numbers will continue to evolve as he separates himself from the mid-range, where he fires off 37 percent of his shots (86th percentile). Also, just 8 percent of his shots come from the corner, where he shots 43 percent. 

    While scoring headlines his skill set, he's shown a more all-around game than anticipated, approaching a triple-double against Houston on November 27. As his role and usage increase, look for Herro to rise to an All-Star-caliber contributor by 2025. 

Brandon Ingram

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Current Team: New Orleans Pelicans

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 24.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 20.6 PER

    2025 Age: 27

    Possibly the closest current comp we have to Kevin Durant, Brandon Ingram broke out of his shell in 2019-20 and into his first All-Star Game at just 22 years of age. 

    Blessed with length to lift over the league's longest defenders, Ingram also has great footwork that makes controlling him challenging inside the arc. While mostly reliant on his mid-range jumper through three seasons, Ingram's three-point touch has emerged, as he's making 40.0 percent of his 6.3 attempts per game. 

    In addition to spacing the floor in New Orleans, Ingram can take over games when necessary as one of the NBA's best and most frequent isolation scorers. He's also the league's most efficient roller. 

    Ingram has emerged as a possible front-runner for league's Most Improved Player Award. There's no reason he shouldn't continue to improve into his age-27 year. 

Jonathan Isaac

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Current Team: Orlando Magic

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 12.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.6 SPG, 17.1 PER

    2025 Age: 27

    Speaking of Kevin Durant comps, Jonathan Isaac is the defensive Stretch Armstrong adaptation. 

    Sidelined with a scary knee injury, Isaac had been enjoying his most productive season yet in his third year. Third in blocks and tied for 10th in steals per game and sixth in defensive real plus-minus among power forwards, Isaac's candidacy for the All-Defensive team appeared cemented.

    As his workload and usage increased, we saw rises in every significant category, sparking confidence that the best is yet to come. The All-Star Game typically rewards those who excel on the offensive side, but there is enough evidence to suggest Isaac may thrive on both ends by the time he turns 27. 

Nikola Jokic

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Current Team: Denver Nuggets

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 20.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, 25.3 PER

    2025 Age: 29

    Bigs aren't supposed to play this way. Blessed with Joel Embiid-type size (7'0", 253 pounds), Jokic's game more closely resembles that of Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson than that of a wide-bodied rim protector. Only those two surpass Jokic's totals in scoring, rebounding and assists in their first five seasons. 

    It isn't hyperbole to suggest Jokic will retire as the game's most dangerous low-post facilitator ever. In his five seasons, he's ranked in the 95th percentile or above in assist percentage every year and has nearly doubled his rookie numbers in his fifth season. 

    Often thought of as a liability defensively, Jokic's No. 1 ranking among centers in real plus-minus has been bolstered by ranking 14th in the NBA in DRPM. 

    Jokic finished fourth in MVP voting in 2019 at just 23 years of age and has demonstrated that he's one of the most durable players in the NBA. He'll for sure show up on All-Star Weekend in 2025. 

Ja Morant

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Current Team: Memphis Grizzlies

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 17.6 PPG, 7.1 APG, 3.5 RPG, 18.4 PER 

    2025 Age: 25      

    This kid got 400,000 All-Star votes halfway through his first season. So yeah, pegging him to join this band of ballers is a pretty safe bet. 

    With 17.6 points and 7.1 assists on 52.2 effective field-goal percentage, Ja Morant would join Magic Johnson as the only two rookies with those numbers if he keeps up that pace. 

    The Memphis Grizzlies have far exceeded preseason expectations, and Morant is one of its principal reasons why. His playmaking wizardry and athleticism make him one of the best facilitators and finishers at the rim (98th percentile).  

    Morant has already made the young Grizz an NBA League Pass must-watch this season. The best is yet to come. 

Ben Simmons

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Current Team: Philadelphia 76ers

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 16.9 PPG, 8.3 APG, 7.9 RPG, 2.2 SPG, 20.7 PER

    2025 Age: 28   

    This 6'10" reincarnation of Magic Johnson's game is sometimes overshadowed by his strange aversion to experimenting with a jump shot, but he is irrefutably one of the NBA's brightest stars. 

    Ben Simmons has joined just Oscar Robertson in collecting 3,500 points, 1,700 rebounds and 1,700 assists in his first three seasons. The evolution of the NBA can truly be tracked to players like Simmons, who possess the size and versatility to defend all five positions while running and managing the floor as a point guard. 

    Fifth in the NBA in assists (8.3) and 24th in rebounds (7.9), Simmons may someday challenge Robertson and Westbrook's triple-double season averages. 

    Unlike those two, Simmons might also belong on the All-Defensive team, at least according to head coach Brett Brown.

    "How can he not be a first-team all-(NBA) defensive player?" Brown told Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    All this at just 23 years of age. Simmons will be an All-Star for the next five years and possibly into the following decade. 

Pascal Siakam

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Current Team: Toronto Raptors

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 23.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 18.9 PER

    2025 Age: 30    

    By the time 2025 rolls around, Pascal Siakam might be defending his sixth consecutive Most Improved Player award. 

    After more than doubling his scoring average in 2018-19, it's risen again by nearly seven points per game (23.5) as his Toronto Raptors have unexpectedly staged a noble, perhaps even legitimate title defense. 

    The Scottie Pippen comparison is unavoidable. Pippen took home seven first-place MVP votes in 1994 after Jordan's initial retirement, with 20.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 steals per-36. Like Pippen, Siakam's production has increased, but somewhere along the way, his game evolved. His role shifted from power forward and small-ball 5 in his previous three seasons to spending 20 percent of his minutes at the 3. This is due in part to his expanded role on the perimeter, where his three-point attempts per game have more than doubled from 2.7 to 5.8. 

    Though one of the older members of our group, Siakam is in just his fourth season with less than 7,000 career minutes played. Who knows how his game will continue to evolve? As for now, he's an All-Star starter who has yet to reach his peak.  

Jayson Tatum

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    Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

    Current Team: Boston Celtics

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 22.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 19.4 PER

    2025 Age: 26

    Imagine this iteration of Jayson Tatum with the Philadelphia 76ers? The Fultz-Tatum narrative may be played out, but the third-year vet is fifth in real plus-minus, third in defensive real plus-minus while scoring and rebounding better than all but seven players. 

    Tatum is the standard for the NBA with supreme size, versatility and playmaking prowess. At 6'8", Tatum is  in the 92nd percentile in usage rate (27.2) and plays 62 percent of his minutes at the 4. 

    FiveThirtyEight's player projections correctly pegged Tatum as a future All-Star, and the site's calculations have his WAR increasing to elite levels as his career progresses, making him a legitimate candidate to join this group in 2025.

Karl-Anthony Towns

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    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Current Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  26.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 4.4 APG, 60.0 eFG%, 26.8 PER

    2025 Age: 29

    There aren't many more divisive All-Stars in the NBA than Karl-Anthony Towns. After surviving Jimmy Butler's expletive-filled practice and the eventual trade of No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, KAT remains the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise with little success to show for it. 

    Towns fills out a box score like very few ever have. He's one of 13 players with 8,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 990 assists from a rookie season to a fifth season. With a true shooting percentage of 62.2 and an effective field-goal percentage of 57.8, he's done it with far better efficiency than anyone who had those numbers, aside from Charles Barkley. 

    None of these numbers will matter if Towns can't find a way to stack more wins. Having only one playoff appearance will keep Towns from getting more respect. Can president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas do enough to adjust the narrative? If he can, Towns' age and statistics do enough to predict an All-Star inclusion in 2025. 

Ziaire Willaims

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Current Team: Sierra Canyon

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: NA

    2025 Age: 23

    Like Cade Cunningham, Ziaire Williams stands out in his high school class and looks every bit the blossoming star. Ranked seventh by the ESPN 100 Recruiting Database in addition to leading the second-best team in the country, Williams has ideal size and length for today's NBA. 

    A volume scorer, capable rebounder and playmaker that led his AAU team in every category, Williams caught the attention of the Stepien's Ross Gorman with his shooting.

    "I know there are some teams that wish he was coming out this year," an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports.

    The 2021 NBA draft class looks loaded, and we're pegging Ziaire Williams as a safe bet to emerge alongside Cade Cunningham and become an All-Star in just his fourth season. 

Trae Young

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    Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

    Current Team: Atlanta Hawks

    2019-20 Notable Numbers: 29.7 PPG, 9.2 APG, 4.4 RPG, 24.4 PER

    2025 Age: 26

    Trae Young is No. 1 in the NBA in offensive real plus-minus (by nearly a full point!) while playing for its third-worst team. 

    At just 21 years old in his second season, Young could have an incredible trajectory over the next five seasons. Young is already one of nine players with 2,900 points, 500 rebounds and 1,000 assists in the first two seasons of a career, and he has the best true shooting percentage of the group. 

    He's already starting in the All-Star Game. By the time 2025 rolls around, he may already be well on his way to a Hall of Fame career. 

Zion Williamson

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    Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

    Current Team: New Orleans Pelicans

    2019-20 Notable Numbers:  20.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 24.9 PER

    2025 Age: 24

    Forget 2025. Through his first nine games, Zion Williamson appears good enough for the All-Star Game right now. 

    He's the first rookie to average 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game with an effective field-goal percentage of 59.0, and his current numbers (per-36) in scoring and rebounding are only exceeded by four players.

    What makes Zion dominant is his efficiency at the rim, where he takes 83 percent of his shots. Through his first eight games, the offense has gravitated to its new phenom. On a team with Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball and All-Star Brandon Ingram, Zion has absorbed the majority of its usage. 

    The NBA has already tipped its hand in identifying Zion as the next face of the NBA, giving his squad 30 nationally televised games in 2019-20. If he stays healthy, he'll live up to the hype for years to come. 

          

    Stats via NBA.com, Basketball Reference, Cleaning the Glass and ESPN unless otherwise noted and up to date through games on Monday, Feb. 10. 

    Preston Ellis covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter (@PrestonEllis).