CBS Sports recently put out their Top 25 Under 25 list for the 2018-2019 season and four players from the University of Kentucky made the cut. The list contains the top ranked talent in the NBA under the age of 25-years old.
“This is not a list of the top 25 young players in terms of production for the upcoming season. Nor is it a straight projection on which of these players will be best in, say, five years. It’s some combination of both,” wrote Reid Forgrave.
The first Kentucky player to show up on the list is at #24 where New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle comes in. Randle was #72 in CBS’ Top 100 players for next season after averaging a career best 16.1 points per game last year. This season he’ll be playing with with one of the best in the NBA, Anthony Davis; and that should up his value even more.
After coming in at #55 in the top 100, Jamal Murray is next up at #18 at just 21-years of age.
“The most impressive stat was this: Murray ranked 48th in the NBA with a 57.6 percent true shooting percentage,” said Forgrave. “While that may not sound particularly impressive, that ranks Murray fifth all-time in true shooting percentage for guards age 21 and younger. Outranking him are some impressive names: Magic Johnson, Eric Gordon, Michael Jordan and Andre Iguodala.”
That’s pretty good.
Next up is the prodigal Devin Booker, who comes in at #11. That may seem low to some, but the lack versatility to his game outside of volume scoring has kept Booker from being cemented as a legitimate franchise player.
“Part of it is defensive effort; part of it is he’s had to expend so much energy carrying the Suns on the offensive end that he’s simply too gassed to play defense,” wrote Forgrave.
The final Kentuckian on the list is Karl Anthony-Towns at #3, who was #19 in CBS’ Top 100. Despite the recent Jimmy Butler controversy, Towns is still one of the most coveted players in the league and one of its best scoring big men. At just 22 years old, there is still plenty of time for KAT to potentially be #1 a couple of years from now. Until then he sits behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.