With a new decade just a few months away, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated identifies the players most likely to dominate the 2020s, with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo at the top of the list. Only 24 years old and coming off his first MVP award, Antetokounmpo is an obvious choice. Woo expects him to contend for the award for the rest of his prime years, and notes that he could upend the league when he hits free agency in 2021.
Woo’s other selections are Kawhi Leonard (age 28), Anthony Davis (26), Joel Embiid (25) and Luka Doncic (20). Doncic’s accomplishments at such a young age and his role as the cornerstone of the Mavericks‘ franchise place him ahead of more established stars, Woo adds.
There’s more from around the basketball world:
- The NBA’s latest attempt to stop tampering will only be effective if the league follows through on enforcement, states Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Teams are likely to keep testing the limits of the new regulations to see what they can get away with. “Let’s see if they catch someone,” an unidentified league executive said. “Until then, teams will keep pushing the envelope. They didn’t enforce the old rules—why would anyone think they will do more with new ones?”
- LaMelo Ball is exceeding expectations in the Australian NBL, according to Tommy Beer of Forbes. The youngest brother of Lonzo Ball has a chance to be a top-five pick in the 2020 draft, Beer adds. He is averaging 16.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game and impressing scouts with his passing as well as scoring.
- Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv that owners have an underrated role in the success of NBA teams. ” I think the owner has as much influence as any star player because it’s still the culture that you set,” Fertitta said. “And the culture that I’ve set with my team, the Houston Rockets, and to my management team is that we are going to do whatever it takes to put as good a team out there as you can. And we’re gonna try to set ourselves up every year to be one of the top five or six teams in the NBA.”