It’s no secret that Kentucky is far-and-away the top program when it comes to producing high-level NBA players. John Calipari has been in Lexington for 10 seasons now, but he’s still leaving his mark on the professional ranks every year.
The basketball minds over at Bleacher Report compiled a list of their top 23 NBA players all under the age of 23. All players who make up the list will be under the age of 23 before the season officially begins on Oct. 22. So players such as Donovan Mitchell (who is currently 22 but turns 23 next month) are left off the list.
While no former Kentucky players are listed 23-11, FOUR Wildcats were named in the top 10.
10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder): 21 at start of 2019-20 season.
6. Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets): 22 at start of 2019-20 season.
5. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns): 22 at start of 2019-20 season.
3. De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings): 21 at start of 2019-20 season.
Coming in just ahead of Fox at No. 2 is Zion Williamson (Pelicans) and Luka Doncic (Mavericks) at No. 1.
Overall, I generally agree with the list put out by Bleacher Report. While I might slide Murray down a couple of slots and also throw in Bam Adebayo somewhere in the top 20, I couldn’t find much of an issue with where these youngsters were ranked. RJ Barrett at No. 18 and Brandon Ingram tied for No. 8 might be a bit high for my liking while John Collins at No. 14 is too low, but I agreed otherwise.
I am all in on Fox being listed at No. 3 behind Williamson and Doncic. Outside of those two, Fox might have the highest ceiling of any player on this list. Give it another year, and Gilgeous-Alexnader might find himself even higher on this list. It honestly blows my mind that Booker isn’t even 23 yet.
If you’d like to check out the full rankings along with the blurbs that accompany each player, check it out here.