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NBA Young Bucks


Every NBA front office tries to acquire the best talent, but a second factor always comes into play… age. A younger player with upside is almost always taken before a player 2-3 years older with more polished skills. Drafting a younger player literally gives an NBA franchise more time to develop that talent, resulting in more control over grooming and training. The driving force behind this mindset revolves around potential – if the upside is there then the rest will fall into place. It’s far from a perfect science but don’t expect change anytime soon.

Brandon Ingram and Jamal Murray

The inherit risk of selecting a young player (18-19 years old) is the waste of potential, or inability to fulfill said hypothetical max capability. We want to shine a light on the hottest young men killing it in the NBA under the age of 21 (and the footwear that makes them go). Many of these players are in their second or third season and already commanding respect on the court. Some of these players are just scratching the surface of their greatness, and others are already on the brink of All-Star stardom! Team achievements, or the lack of, wasn’t a factor in selecting our top-5. Basically, if they’re ballin’ and 21 or younger then they were considered.

 

5. Brandon Ingram; Los Angeles Lakers

adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Low PE

Birthday: 09/02/97; 21 years old

2018-19 Stats: 18.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG

Outlook: Uncertain but Hopeful. Adding LeBron James to the Laker equation has disrupted Ingram’s overall progress, but he’s still bursting with potential. Almost every night he’s tasked with defending the opponents best wing scorer and with otherworldly length Brandon excels in those situations. Scoring consistency was a big question early in the season but since the All-Star break the youngin’ from Kingston, NC has been on a tare! The Anthony Davis Sweepstakes will be in full effect this off season – what does that mean for Brandon Ingram? Only time will say, but don’t bank on him being a Laker (sad face, I love Ingram’s game).

Brand Affiliate: adidas

Go To Shoe: adidas MarqueeBOOST

adidas BYW ‘Pharrell’
adidas Marquee BOOST low PE

 

4. De’Aaron Fox; Sacramento Kings

Nike Kobe AD Mid

Birthday: 12/20/97; 21 years old

2018-19 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 7.3 APG

Outlook: Budding Pace Changer. Fast, like Shake n Bake Ricky Bobby fast! De’Aaron has been in his bag all season with a poise unseen in the past. He’s mentally collected more often, orchestrates the Kings offensive beautifully alongside Buddy Hield and can take over games with his speedy driving abilities. We knew Fox was going to be good, we just didn’t think he’d take such a massive leap forward in year two. Our founder, Nick, is stoked on the prospect of De’Aaaron leading the Kings into the Playoffs too.

Brand Affiliate: Nike

Go To Shoe: Kobe AD

Air Jordan XX8
Air Jordan XX8 ‘Art Of A Champion’

 

3. Lauri Markkanen; Chicago Bulls

Nike LeBron 11 ‘Bred’

Birthday: 05/22/97; 21 years old

2018-19 Stats: 19.6 PPG, 9.3 RPG

Outlook: Raw. Straight up, the Bulls stink. With that said Markkanen’s game has been nothing but fresh all season. The 7 footer from Finland (via Arizona) plays a refined version of the modern NBA 4. His ability to bang like a traditional big man and shoot like a guard will serve him well throughout his career. Don’t be surprised if Lauri messes around and turns into Pau Gasol 2.0.

Brand Affiliate: Nike

Go To Shoe: Classic LeBrons

Nike LeBron 7 and Nike Hyperdunk 2017
Nike LeBron 8 Low ‘Miami Nights’




 

2. Luka Dončić; Dallas Mavericks

Nike Kobe 4 Protro

Birthday: 02/28/99; 20 years old

2018-19 Stats: 21.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.6 APG

Outlook: Rising Star. Luka’s all that and a bag of chips! The young catalyst of the Mavericks has given that team new life with his mix of playmaking and scoring. The scouting reports on Draft Night ’18 dinged Luka for his lack of explosiveness; but his step-back 3 game has been so fire that the 12 GMs that didn’t select him are surely kicking themselves in their collective butts. He’s just so confident with the ball in his hands at such a young age. Dallas wrangled a Unicorn at the trade deadline this year to pair alongside Luka to create a duo that will wreck the league for years to come. The only reason why we didn’t put the Slovenian star first was due to the next player’s overall superior offensive skills.

Brand Affiliate: Nike

Go To Shoe: Nike PG 2.5

Nike PG 2.5 ‘Gohan’ Custom
Nike PG 2.5 PE

 

 

1. Jayson Tatum; Boston Celtics

Nike Kyrie 4 ‘Green Lobster’

Birthday: 03/03/98; 20 years old

2018-19 Stats: 16.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.8 APG

Outlook: Fringe Star. If you’re a Celtics fan do you trade Tatum for a proven star big man (cough cough Anthony Davis) or clear out other players for him to grow? It’s a tough question and the answers aren’t clear cut; Tatum has been stunted by the Celtic’s logjam of standout wings and at this junction progression is paramount. He’s so talented that looking to move everyone around him (Jalen Brown, Gordon Hayward) is warranted because at the end of the day he could a perennial All-Star in the near future. Tatum contributed mightily to a Celtics team last season that pushed LeBron James and the Cavs to Game-7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, so his post-season pedigree is already proven. Offensively Jayson can do it all and his game reminds us of a young Kobe Bryant, probably because he’s worked with Kobe last summer. Do you think Tatum will be traded to anchor his own NBA franchise? Tell us how you feel in the comments section below.

Brand Affiliate: Nike

Go To Shoe: HyperAdapt BB, Kyrie line

Nike HyperAdapt BB
Nike Kyrie 3 ‘Bruce Lee’

Las Vegas native living in Portland, OR. Interests include: shoes, sports, music, video games and food. Extremely passionate about Nike and the Lakers. I've been collecting shoes for over 15 years! Follow me on IG & Twitter to see my personal collection and if you have questions. #rahbeekicksit

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