NBA Talent Evaluators Gave Their List Of Young Players To Build Around And The Results Are A Little Surprising

I love polls like this. It's one thing for all of us to argue this sort of thing on Twitter and think we know everything, but it's another to get people who are on the inside and evaluate talent for a living to give us some sort of ranking list. The group consisted of GMs, executives, and scouts to help paint the picture. This time we're talking about players under the age of 25 years old that you would want to build your franchise around. For those who didn't click the link, here is the full breakdown

1. Luka Doncic (100%)

2. Jayson Tatum (64%)

3. Devin Booker (25.3%)

4. Ja Morant (18.7%)

T5. Donovan Mitchell (16%)

T5. Bam Adebayo (16%)

T7. Zion Williamson (13.3%)

T7. Jamal Murray (13.3%)

T9. Ben Simmons (12%)

T9. Brandon Ingram (12%)

T11. Jaylen Brown (4%)

T11. De'Aaron Fox (4%)

13. Karl-Anthony Towns (1.3%)

In looking at that list, there aren't too many questions I have about who they put in the top 4. The obvious answer to be the #1 guy is Luka. If a single person denies that claim you should immediately ignore anything else that ever comes out of their mouth. I think Jayson Tatum showed in Year 3 and then now in the playoffs that he is the clear #2 option and a two way beast, so that's the right spot for him too. Same with Devin Booker who took the world by storm in the bubble. That wasn't just a two week hot streak either. He's been at that level for basically the last two years. 

For me, my questions deal more around the names that come after. For example Bam. There is no denying that Bam is a MONSTER player. He's an elite defender that can guard all 5 positions, and he very well might be the most gifted passing big in the entire East. But his offensive game is extremely limited. He seems more like a perfect #2 guy than a #1. Maybe the thought here was that he would develop an offensive game and if that's the case then he probably should be even higher. I'd have him Top 4 if we pretend he has that in his bag. What's the difference in his offensive limitations compared to someone like Ben Simmons? Simmons is an All NBA defender and one of the best passers in the league. But he doesn't shoot just like Bam doesn't shoot. You won't catch Bam taking 15 footers or threes the same way Simmons won't ever do that shit. 

It was also a surprise to see Zion so low even when you factor in his injury history and god awful defense. I wonder if things might have been different if the Pelicans didn't shit their pants and they actually made the playoffs. I feel like Zion took a little bit of a hit there. I say that because look at what it did for Jamal Murray. If before the season started you asked this question, how many people give Murray and Zion the same percentage? Maybe Murray's parents and that's about it. 

However there is no doubt that the biggest snub here is KAT. I mean the dude throws up 26.5/10.8/4.4/1.2 on 50% shooting and makes 3.3 3PM on 7.9 3PA shooting 41% and he gets just 1.3% of the vote? That wasn't even a fluke either! He's shot over 40% from three in each of the last three seasons! That's the exact thing you want from a center in 2020! Listen I get it, the Wolves stink and he can at times be soft, but it's not his fault the people being put around him stink. What the fuck has Brandon Ingram done to warrant being that much higher?


You'll also notice that there is no Trae Young in this list. I'll admit, that surprised me. Guy only finishes 4th in scoring and 2nd in assists and he can't get any love? I understand he is a big time negative defensively, but remember the question. Who would you want to build around? You can build around Trae with legit defenders to make up for his defensive issues. You're still getting one of the best shot creators in the league and someone who has Steph Curry like range. He also never gets hurt for the most part. It was surprising to see Fox get that percentage of vote and then nothing for Young. 

So when you look at those results, what stands out to you? Who would you move up or down or even replace completely? We have a shit ton of time before the game tips off tonight so let's debate about it on the internet.