Community Shootaround: Best Young Building Block

Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com asked 20 people within the NBA community, including coaches, executives, and scouts about which player they’d want to build around in the future. Each was asked to rank the following players: Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, and Trae Young.

The overwhelming majority selected Doncic, as he received 17 first-place votes and tallied the three second-place votes where he wasn’t the top choice. Morant was the top choice for two people and Williamson for just one.

“I don’t know if Luka can be any better than he is,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “He’s really good. But I think this might be who he is — which is very good.

“But Ja can get better in terms of his shooting, his team will get better around him and he makes players better around him. I think he can affect the game at both ends.”

Morant, who went No. 2 overall in the 2019 draft, getting more first-place votes than Williamson is surprising.

“Health,” said a Western Conference scout when asked why he ranked Williamson third among the four young stars. “He’d be (No. 1) otherwise.

How would you rank the four players if given the chance to start a franchise with a young star? Take to the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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18 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Best Young Building Block

  1. Offensively yea, Luka may not get any better than he is now, but that’s ok. If he keeps up what he is doing offensively for a very long period of time he can be a legend. What Luka can do to work on being a better player is work on his defense. If Luka becomes an above average defensive player he will be one of the greatest.

  2. Bryson

    Trae last lol, but gotta have Zion over Luka and Ja. Zion can be top10 offensive and defensive player, a la lebron, Giannis and Davis. not luka. Plus he plays off ball, so there is room for other amazing creators, whereas Luka seems to need the ball in his hands to perform optimally.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Tatum first, Luka second, Ja third, Zion 4 and Trae 5.

    Tatum isn’t the best player in this list and nor does he have the hugest potential but I like that he plays both ends of the court something Trae and Luka struggle with and on offence he can fit many systems and play a number of roles.

    Zion isn’t a floor spacer and uses his size, Trae can straight up shoot it but is also turnover prone and plays next to no defence, Luka isn’t exactly a great shooter and again needs the ball in his hands to operate. Tatum can space, can play on ball, can play off ball, can iso up and probably has the most moves.

    Luka is the best player of the 5 but I don’t think he would fit well with another ball dominate player like Russ, Harden, Bron or Giannas and I don’t think he would go well with another guard who doesn’t play defence like Lillard, Trae, Curry, Dloading and so on.
    Zion has the most potential but has injury history and a strange body type. I’m not sure if he would play well with a big clogging the paint and possibly giving him more double teams.
    Lastly Ja, I really like him, I haven’t watched a whole heap of him but he seems good just can’t really judge much.

    Tatum probably fits any team in the league, can’t see a system he doesn’t do well in

  4. Simple Fan

    I’d build around Luka given that he has one choice: that all the other guys stay with the same team. Ja Morant can play in Phoenix but no doubt does this question solve any of their problems. These four have a different grade and that’s what makes them that exhilarating, all competitive beasts

    Overall it’s got to be a tie. All eyes on the big one Zion to not only turn heads but turn the standards. That can all happen real fast. They should look out for third-team awards. Can any of them grab that… Vs. Kemba, Simmons and all the stars it will be hard, but with all eyes to the future, I think they can

  5. x%sure

    Morant may have beat out Williamson based on health, but Morant is pretty slight to endeavor what he does. If he holds up– and he has– he can do the most to affect a game.

    Doncic will require an almost new sort of defender to stop him, but that could happen.

    • Simple Fan

      Ja provided to people this year the quality of being the starriest player in being exemplary. Ja’s a great player. A rookie though who is very great at what he does, yet yes, perfect

      That’s right, Doncic will face a new mentality one day. Get’s good at being a role player. Old terminology= newest techniques, and yes a very starry game kind of defines him.

      If I hear you correctly you’re saying that Luka is one day going to have to fight against defiant teams. They’ll play against him one day, but yeah, they would be pretty “against the grain”. They would hate to have to. That’s symptomatic of Luka being Luka

      • x%sure

        Doncic does different things than what NBA players are used to. It could be brilliance that nobody can match; or it could be innovation that teams will catch up to if Dallas gets important enough. Teams have figured Giannis and Ben Simmons so far, for instance, when they had to.

  6. imindless
    imindless

    Would rather have trae over luka. Both are great but trae to me can get even better, his offense and assist potential is insane. Luka also is the best 3 point shooter and is a horrible defender which won’t be easy as he gets older and adds weight.

  7. mlbnyyfan

    Luka clearly #1. He has a great chance to surpass Dirk as greatest Maverick

  8. Dodgethis

    Since the question is best building block and not best player, it has to be Zion #1.

    Zion
    Doncic
    Morant
    Young

    Zion is exciting, and versatile. Surrounding ND him with shooters and watch the highlight reels.

    Doncic is good but has already reached his cieling, if not played beyond it, and will regress, especially on such a terribly run team.

    Morant could be special, but it’s easy to look good on a terrible team when the opponents are taking the night off.

    Young is one dimensional. He can shoot, that’s it.

    • El Don

      Clearly you don’t watch games! Luka is a top 3 player in the league right now & Ice Trae can shoot, pass… & so much more!
      BTW DAL is one of the best franchises in the league, SMH!

    • Simmons>Russ

      Mavs aren’t a terribly run team, they are actually probably one of the better run teams. Cuban is a great owner, Carlisle is a solid coach. They managed to build around Dirk and won and now they are building around Luka.

      As for Ja your also said it’s easy to look good on a terrible team. You do realise he had lead his team to the playoffs in the west as a rookie over teams such as DeRozan and Aldridge’s Spurs, over Dame and CJs Blazers, over Zo Zion and Ingram from the Pelicans. The Grizzlies aren’t a terrible tree am at all and clearly you have very little knowledge of basket all.

      Then you called Trae, 1 dimensional and said all he can do it shoot. Hes basically the next Steph Curry, has top 10 handles in the league and I believe is top 10 in the league for assists. Granted he plays next to no defence and yes he plays on a bad team but your being so disrespectful saying that’s all he can do
      Don’t really know why your on a basketball fan site if you all do is hate on good players and have limited knowledge

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