In five years, these will be the top players in the NBA.
The NBA isn't too complicated in its current state. In the West there are the champions, the Golden State Warriors, who are leaps and bounds better than the rest of the NBA after adding Kevin Durant. In the East, there's LeBron James—who, with his very presence, can lug a team to the Finals—and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's looking like these two teams will face off against one another for the next couple of years, but what will the league look like in five years when the Warriors (likely) split up? Who will the best players be? That's what we've decided to prognosticate.
These will be the top 5 players in the NBA in 2022. Note: their current ages are in parentheses.
1. Anthony Davis (24)
Anthony Davis is already one of the best players in the NBA, and in 2022, he'll be the very best. No big man in the league is as smooth as Davis navigating the floor, and none have nearly as complete of a game. He's a post presence and a threat from the three-point line, and if he can get some teammates around him the Pelicans are a legit playoff threat. We haven't even seen his best basketball yet.
2. Kawhi Leonard (25)
Kawhi Leonard is one of the top five players in the NBA, and in five years he'll still be the cream of the crop. Heck, he could be No. 1 on this list if he keeps improving—it's hard to believe he's only 25. Playing under one of the greatest coaches in all of sports in Gregg Popovich, it's hard to see Leonard anywhere other than San Antonio, and I predict he'll win a least two more titles for the Spurs before it's all said and done.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (22)
Giannis can do everything on the court exceedingly well. Pass, shoot, rebound, defend—his talent is limitless. When he came into the league he was just a lanky athlete who couldn't shoot that well. After just three seasons he's already an All-Star. Not bad. If he adds the three-ball to his arsenal, he'll be unstoppable.
4. Kevin Durant (28)
Kevin Durant is the second-best player on the planet right now, and one of the most prolific scorers we've ever seen. While he'll be 33 in 2022, his game will age well because there's simply nowhere he can't score from, whether it's driving to the rim, mid-range or from behind-the-arc. For what it's worth, Durant might just now be entering his prime, and that's a very scary thought for the rest of the NBA. He'll be around for a while.
5. Karl-Anthony Towns (21)
The center position isn't dead yet, and Karl-Anthony Towns is living proof. A rare package of speed, power and agility, Towns is on the cusp of All-NBA level play at the age of just 21. By 2022, he'll be a force to be reckoned with, and even by then he probably still won't have maxed out his potential.
Kristaps Porzingis (21), Nikola Jokic (22), Kyrie Irving (25)