Every year, there’s a new list of young NBA stars that the fans and media go crazy for. In the past, there have always been times where young players who looked extremely promising from the start were never as good as everyone hyped them up to be. No matter how badly the fans need a young face to cheer for, it’s not up to them to determine how it actually pans out.
Sadly, that same tradition will likely hold true for the newest generation of NBA players.
Sure, while some guys like Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns are pretty much All-Star locks for the future, other youngsters are already being elevated to superstar status before they’ve gotten a chance to prove themselves.
This list captures those young stars who, unfortunately, are going through just that. We’re not saying they’re busts or failures, only that it’s still way too early to call these kids the next NBA superstars.
Myles Turner – Indiana Pacers
Pacers fans should feel hope in their young big man. He has shown a lot of promise, and the Pacers made the right move in building the team around him. With that said, is this guy really going to ever be a Top 5 Center in the league? So many fans around the country are hailing Turner as the Big Man of the future, but he may have already reached his peak.
His size and wide-ranged skill set are favorable. But he hasn’t shown that he is capable of carrying a team. Remember, Myles Turner has always played alongside Paul George. Can he thrive being “the man” of a lottery team?
D’Angelo Russell – Brooklyn Nets
Laker fans, Nets fans, D’Lo fans, don’t get too angry here. Before you storm away from the page in boiling rage, check out this crazy stat: D’Angelo Russell hit only one more three-pointer last season than Brook Lopez. For a guy that’s supposedly a superb shooter, that’s a pretty lame performance. Look, there’s a reason the Lakers were willing to give him up. Yeah, he’s a great offensive playmaker, but his leadership abilities and game mentality are just not there.
For all the folks that are claiming him to be a future All-Star, why don’t you wait before handing out such a prized title. He may eventually turn into an All-Star. But for now, he’s done nothing to prove he’s even an above average point guard.
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid had a great stretch last season, averaging 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 20 points per game for the season. But as most NBA executives know, the most important skill is availability. In 3 years, the guy has only played 31 games. How can anyone be considered a future superstar if they aren’t on the court?
The 76ers certainly have a bright future in front of them. And yes, they’d be stupid to not include Embiid in that future. He’s got size, heart, and skill. Of course, Sixers fans should be excited. But before calling him the team’s new cornerstone, let him play half a season of healthy basketball.
Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets
If you look at the stats, Jokic’s numbers certainly do impress. His impact on the court backs that up 100%. The problem here isn’t that Jokic hasn’t shown enough star power. He has. The issue here is how high people are elevating him, which is way higher than he should be right now.
In many conversations, people have Jokic as a top ten (or even top 5) player in the league. He’s good, but he’s not that good. Rather than jump the gun with this one, let us just enjoy his play on the court. The Nuggets finally found themselves a keeper, but even they should be smart enough to know that nothing is guaranteed at this point.
Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball definitely has the charisma and swagger of a superstar. His play in college and the preseason haven’t disappointed, either. But that’s all we have to go on right now. Yet somehow, without playing a single minute of professional basketball, Lonzo has been compared to Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and Jason Kidd. Somehow, this untested kid from UCLA has been donned the Lakers new superstar right out of the gate.
Admittedly, the guy looks like an absolutely special talent. But the masses need to slow down on all the Lonzo Ball mania. It will take more time, much more time, to truly tell how good Lonzo will be. But right now, we’ve got basically nothing to go on except some college plays and the word of a very power-hungry Father.