Tuesday morning, ESPN+ released it’s top 25 players under the age of 25. It’s a collection of players ranked on their future potential.
Two Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, are featured in the top portion of the list.
Doncic is sixth over all according to the three man panel:
[T]here’s a strong case that only Giannis has a higher ceiling than Doncic, who needed less than half a season to erase any doubts that his European production would translate to the NBA... Doncic is one of just six rookies since the ABA-NBA merger with a usage rate of 29 percent or higher. Yet he has remained reasonably efficient thanks to high-volume 3-point shooting.
The only player in front of Doncic I disagree with on the list is Karl Anthony Towns, a player who’s posted good numbers but doesn’t seem to affect whether or not the Timberwolves win very much.
Kristaps Porzingis comes in at eleven over all, somewhat surprising considering how injured he’s been in his short career. It appears as if KP got a bit of a Doncic bump:
The two could be a much bigger, better-defending version of Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, a duo that has both the ability to run pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops. But with a table-setter of Doncic’s caliber, Porzingis should now be willing to cut out the junk that was ruining his shot selection at times in New York.
The entire list is worth reading. Doncic, Jaren Jackson, DeAndre Ayton, and Marvin Bagley are the only players from the most recent draft on the list. Notably, Dennis Smith Jr. doesn’t make the cut.
Over all, this serves as another reminder that the bet the Mavericks placed with the trade for Porzingis is highly regarded. Dallas fans should be in for a real treat next season, even if they make no other substantive additions this off season.