While we have seen the likes of St. Louisan Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant already reach superstar status, there are several other players in their early 20's who are making their mark in The Association.
Here is a look at a group of those emerging stars in the 25-and-Under group who operate somewhat under the radar because they are not playing for large market teams.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder): The 6'6" point guard has emerged as one of the top players in the league this season. Period. In his fifth season, the 24-year old has become an unstoppable bucket-getter who does most of his damage in the lane on the drive. Everyone knows that he's driving to the basket, but it doesn't matter because he is going to score anyway. SGA is currently averaging 31.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.5 blocks while shooting 53 percent from the field. On Wednesday night, he produced a masterpiece in Washington as he scored 42 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 121-120 victory over the Wizards to break their four-game winning streak.
Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers): In just his third season, the 22-year old Haliburton has emerged as one of the league's elite point guards. He came over the Pacers in a mid-season trade from the Sacramento Kings last year and he has flourished in Indy. The 6'5" Hailburton is currently averaging 20.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 10.3 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 48 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line.
Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz): The Jazz were one of the surprises of the early season as they won 10 of their first 13 games. They have cooled off a little, but the start was remarkable and the big reason why was the emergence of the 7'0" forward from Finland. He is a big matchup problem who can knock down 3-pointers, score in the post and throw down dunks in traffic. The 25-year old Markkanen is currently averaging 21.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 52 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.
Anfernee Simons (Portland Trail Blazers): The 23-year old Simons started to show signs of becoming a star last season when he started to post some big numbers in the absence of injured star Damian Lillard and trade of standout guard C.J. McCullum. He got a nice contract extension and his stellar play has continued into this season. He is currently averaging 22.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 37 percent from 3-point range as the surprising Blazers have the best record in the Western Conference. He had one performance in a victory over the Phoenix Suns where he scored 22 points in the third quarter and made six 3-pointers.
Keldon Johnson (San Antonio Spurs): When the Spurs traded young star Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in the offseason, the 23-year old Johnson became the focal point of the franchise's youth movement. The 6'5" 220-pound guard has responded with some terrific play so far this season. He is currently 22.7 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the free throw line. Johnson also earned a gold medal as a part of Team USA at the Summer Olympic Games in Toyko.