-Contributed by Mike Millis-CityofSports Blogger
The new season brings in a new class of rookies, and with that a new batch of players under 25 who are looking to display their skills and either keep their stock high, or show teams why they messed up by not drafting them. Picking these positions was especially hard because there really are so many good young players at each position. Let’s go ahead and pick a team.
PG – Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls. No one his age commands as much respect at any position as D Rose. A career 48% from the field is one reason the kid has averaged nearly 20 points per game since coming in to the league as the number one overall pick out of Memphis. Four rebounds per game along with six assists are examples of intangibles not displayed by your average point guard, especially one who just turned 22 years old.
Honorable Mention: Tyreke Evans, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings,
SG – O.J. Mayo – Memphis Grizzlies. O.J. makes the list based on playmaking ability more than anything. A career 44% field goal shooter puts him at an average of 18 points per game. Adding 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a swing man doesn’t hurt either. He has yet to live up to his hype, which will be hard to do, considering he had a LeBron James type of buzz as far back as middle school.
Honorable Mention: Eric Gordon, James Harden,
SF – Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder. No explanation needed, really. Durant is the defending scoring champion, effective rebounder, averaging 6 per game throughout his short career. He’s my pick to win MVP, and is becoming the LeBron James (before The Decision) to of Oklahoma City.
Honorable Mention: Rudy Gay, Thaddeus Young
PF – Josh Smith – Atlanta Hawks. J Smooth is more offensive minded than anything, and it seems like he could probably shove the ball down anyone’s throat he wants to when he’s driving the lane. He is the main reason the Hawks have been in the playoffs the past few years and if he can become more of a defensive presence, especially on the boards, the Hawks have a legitimate shot of doing something besides losing in the first round of the playoffs..
Honorable Mention: Blake Griffin, Kevin Love.
C – Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic. No brainer. Superman is the best center in the league period, not just under 25 years old. In his 6th year in the league, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and nearly 2 blocks per game. Howard is the face of his franchise, and one of the most recognizable faces in the league.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Bynum, Brook Lopez, Al Horford