Abbott's Ballot: Best 23-and-under players

Originally Published: April 1, 2008
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We asked our writers two questions:

Rank 1 to 5: Which players age 23 or under would you want as the foundation of your team?

Wild card: Who else has the greatest upside?

Here are TrueHoop blogger Henry Abbott's picks:

Abbott's Ballot
Rank Player Comment
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Small Forward
Age: 23
A solid choice for MVP. Statistically, having a season for the ages, shuts down great scorers on key plays, and he just led a bunch of scrubs to the NBA Finals.
Chris Paul
New Orleans Hornets
Point Guard
Age: 22
Perhaps an even more solid choice for MVP. Puts up sick numbers night in and night out -- stuff like 17 assists and one turnover -- while his perennial also-ran team is atop the mega-tough West.
Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic
Age: 22
Everyone's pick as big man of tomorrow. If I had his body, I could make $100 million. But he actually has basketball skill, which makes it even easier.
Brandon Roy
Portland Trail Blazers
Shooting Guard
Age: 23
The reigning rookie of the year and an All-Star, Roy is the player you want your son to grow up to be, with his stellar judgment, fat grab bag of moves, and nonstop smarts and muscle.
Monta Ellis
Golden State Warriors
Shooting Guard
Age: 22
When I was a little kid, my dad would read us stories about the Greek gods. There would be people, for instance, who possessed the power of lightning. Monta Ellis is like that.
Thaddeus Young
Philadelphia 76ers
Small Forward
Age: 19
He can guard 3s and 4s, he can score on anyone at the rim, and his outside shooting shows promise. He's already a top NBA player by the measure of adjusted plus/minus. You can bet against him, but I won't.

Henry Abbott | J.A. Adande | Jon Barry | Maurice Brooks | Chris Broussard | John Hollinger
Ric Bucher | Chad Ford | Chris Palmer | Jalen Rose | Chris Sheridan | Marc Stein | David Thorpe

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