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The NBA’s popularity and rise to prominence has always been about the next generation of players who eventually become the new faces of the league. From Magic/Bird to Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant to now LeBron James, the NBA has not lacked star power and has done a great job of promoting it’s players.
The stars are very recognizable and accessible to fans around the globe. The influx of international talent added to the pool has made the NBA a global giant. Here’s a look at some of the up and coming duos destined to carry the NBA into the next phase:
Luka Doncic, Guard/Forward (21) and Kristaps Porzingis, Power Forward/Center (25) of the Dallas Mavericks have fans thinking championships (yes, multiple). Doncic has already established himself as a premier player in the league in only his second season. Porzingis is looking like his old Unicorn self after recovering from his injury. Both players are uniquely skilled on offense creating headaches for defenses.
Trae Young, Point Guard (21) and John Collins, Power Forward (22) of the Atlanta Hawks are giving their fans hope and a glimpse of a bright future. Young is a high volume scorer who can also set up his teammates. Collins is a double-double workhorse with a relentless motor. They are the focus of a solid foundation to build on.
Collin Sexton, Guard (21) and Andre Drummond, Center (27) of the Cleveland Cavaliers look to help revitalize a dormant franchise. Sexton can play either guard position and is an adept scorer off the dribble. Drummond anchors the defense with rim protection and is an elite rebounder. Now it’s all about finding the right players to compliment them.
Zach LaVine, Guard (25) and Lauri Markkanen, Power Forward (23) of the Chicago Bulls have the look of building blocks for a franchise trying to return to winning. LaVine is an explosive player who can score on all three levels (he’s more than a dunker). Markkanen can play with his back to the basket or facing up, making him a difficult matchup. More pieces are required but these two will be key to changing Chicago’s trajectory.
Jayson Tatum, Forward (22) and Jaylen Brown, Forward (23) of the Boston Celtics have accelerated the process in Beantown. Tatum has come into his own and is playing like an All-Star. Brown has stepped his game up to become a consistent performer. Both players are vastly versatile and can defend multiple positions.
De’Aaron Fox, Point Guard (22) and Marvin Bagley III, Power Forward (21) of the Sacramento Kings are the hope to turn the franchise around. Fox is lightning quick and can finish around the basket with the best of them. Bagley showed promise before his recent injury and must come back stronger. Both players have to take the next step for this franchise to see tangible results.