Commentary

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

Originally Published: April 1, 2008
By   | ESPN.com

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 ESPN NBA analyst Jon Barry's picks:


Barry's Ballot
Rank Player Comment
 
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Small Forward
Age: 23
Do-everything player. Modern-day Oscar Robertson. Best finisher in the game. And now a fourth-quarter closer.
 
Chris Paul
New Orleans Hornets
Point Guard
Age: 22
In only his third NBA season, Paul already plays with a maturity and confidence that says he's in complete control of every game. Terrific D, quick hands, unselfish.
 
Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic
Center
Age: 22
His potential is through the roof. Love his enthusiasm for the game, demonstrated by what we saw on his Superman dunk.
 
Deron Williams
Utah Jazz
Point Guard
Age: 23
This guy is a leader. He is unflappable, durable and steady. Putting up Stockton-like numbers, he's going to be a heck of a player for a lot of years.
 
Brandon Roy
Portland Trail Blazers
Shooting Guard
Age: 23
He gets what it means to be a franchise guy -- it's about the team, community and leading by example. Will put in the effort and work to become better and better. Can become great in every area of the game.
WILD
CARD
 
Greg Oden
Portland Trail Blazers
Center
Age: 20
Tremendous size and seems to enjoy the defensive end. When I'm watching him, I'm thinking Bill Russell.

MORE BALLOTS:
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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