NBA Power Rankings: The NBA’s 10 best young cores

The vast majority of contenders are comprised of veterans, but the next wave of title chasers is already shaping up. These are the 10 best young cores in the NBA. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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2. Houston Rockets 

The Rockets have had a surprising start to the season, and it’s thanks to Alperen Sengun. The third-year player from Turkey built an unassailable statistical track record that screamed future star, and he has finally been given the opportunity to show it. He’s ninth in box plus/minus this season and the youngest player in the top 50 for the metric. 

Sengun was ranked 20th in Fansided’s 25-under-25, which he’ll almost certainly blow by in the next iteration. The same cannot be said of Jalen Green, ranked 21st, who is still struggling to find his footing, but the flashes are still there of a dynamic combo-guard. 

After Sengun, the Rockets don’t have an unmistakable future star to pair with him, but the depth of their options is comical. All it will take to push them over the top is for one of Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Amen Thompson, Cam Whitmore, or Tari Eason to take the next step. The sheer volume of high-end potential on the Rockets gives them one of the brightest futures in the league. 

Their rebuild was widely condemned by the media, but a commitment to aggressive tanking clearly paid off. While it’s unreasonable to assume they have six future All-Stars age 22 and under on the roster, it’s also not outside the realm of possibility. With Sengun already punching his star ticket, the Rockets just need two out of five to follow suit to challenge for the top spot.