We have been spoiled with great basketball over the last 15-20 years. With players getting older and retiring like Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Vince Carter, and Dirk Nowitzki, there are players we should be rooting for that are on their way of taking their place.
In addition, with the NBA season wrapped up and Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA championship, we should take a look at the future of the NBA.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 years old)Giphy
Even though his name might be hard to spell/pronounce, make no mistake, this dude is the real deal. After LeBron left the Eastern Conference, there was an opening for a player to take his place, and Giannis was ready to take the challenge. Combine that with having the best record in the NBA this past season and making it all the way to the conference finals, and you have the frontrunner of being MVP of the league. If he wins MVP for this season, he will join an elite company of players under 25 winning the award like LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, and Derrick Rose.
2. Kawhi Leonard (27 years old)Giphy
Kawhi Leonard a.k.a. "Mr. Fun Guy" or "The Klaw" is a deadly forward from San Diego State University. His tireless work ethic and rough upbringing have shaped him into a multiple-time NBA champion with multiple finals MVPs as well. He was often regarded as an elite defender with great offensive skills, however, that all changed when he went to Toronto. He showed he was more than capable of carrying a team, and doing so has made him a household name. I'm really excited to watch this dude thrive and win more rings.
3. Anthony Davis (26 years old)Giphy
Anthony Davis is already regarded as the best big man in the NBA. There isn't much I can say about him that isn't already known: he's a 7-foot center that can shoot, pass, dribble, and defend at very elite levels. He is in a category in his own when talking about current NBA centers and players.
4. Joel Embiid (25 years old)Giphy
If you take one look at Joel Embiid, you can see how dominant of a player he is. Often being regarded as a modern-day Shaq, Joel Embiid cannot only ball in the post, but can catch you slipping with his amazing midrange and developing 3-point shot. If he can stay on the court and Ben Simmons can develop a jump shot, I can see the 76ers as a dangerous team and could compete for titles.
5. D'Angelo Russell (23 years old)Giphy
After coming off an all-star performance and a likely winner of the most improved player, D'Angelo Russell has surpassed expectations with the Brooklyn Nets, giving them a playoff push. However, after being eliminated in the first round and talks about Kyrie Irving potentially coming, D'Angelo Russell is now a sought after free agent for championship contending teams. He is still working on being a better teammate, however, he can wow any crowd with his amazing handles and myriad of 3-pointers and is a straight up killer on the court.
Even though it's tough to lose amazing players like Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, it's good to know that the NBA's future is in great hands.