The NBA is a league of stars. From newly-crowned MVP Stephen Curry to old standbys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, it’s the elite players in the league that make it arguably the most popular sports organization in the world.
While it’s players of this ilk that prompt hoops fans to trade the comfort of their couch for the confines of the arena, the league also features a cadre of young stars that must be seen to be believed.
Here is TickPick’s list of the Top 5 NBA Phenoms You MUST See In Person.
5. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
One year ago, the “Stifle Tower” was nothing more than a project player sitting at the end of Utah’s bench, fighting with fringe NBA players for garbage time scraps. Now, the seven-foot-two center looks the part of a defensive game changer.
Also, kid can throw down–
Gobert and the Jazz failed to qualify for postseason play this season, but the “French Rejection” and his crew look to be major players in the Western Conference in the future.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
If one were to redo the 2013 NBA Draft, there’s a good chance that Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo would be selected No. 1 overall. The “Greek Freak” is one of the most athletically gifted players to enter the Association in the last decade.
Using a combination of speed, length and jumping ability, Antetokounmpo wreaks havoc on the opposition in a variety of ways. His unique size and skill set make the big man a match-up nightmare on both ends of the floor.
Talk about a two-way player.
3. John Wall, Washington Wizards
You might be asking yourself, “John Wall? Isn’t this guy a star already?” While the answer to your question is a resounding yes, Wall’s accomplishments so far pale in comparison to what lies ahead.
After finishing second in the NBA in assists in 2014-15, expanding his game and leading the Wiz to a four-game sweep of the Toronto Raptors in their first-round playoff series, Wall has the look of a potential MVP candidate next season.
If you’re not on-board already, the time is now to get onto the John Wall bandwagon.
2. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Before the NBA season began, fans and media alike were abuzz with chatter about the return of former MVP Derrick Rose from injury. While Rose is back in the red and black, the Bulls are now a team that belongs to Jimmy Butler.
A beast on both sides of the ball, Butler emerged as Chicago’s key cog and an Eastern Conference All-Star this season. The former Marquette star averaged 20 points per game for the year. Heading into free agency this summer, it’s a safe bet that Butler is headed for a huge payday.
Wherever he lands next season, Butler will look to continue his ascension to greatness.
1. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
Rounding out our list of NBA phenoms that fans need to see live and in person is the 2015 Rookie of the Year, T-Wolves star Andrew Wiggins. Really, who else could it be?
Heading into last summer’s NBA Draft, pundits questioned whether or not Wiggins had the mentality requisite to become a superstar in the league. If the early returns are any indication, we may have the league’s next great player on our hands.
In his first season in the Association, Wiggins displayed incredible all-around game, pacing Minnesota with a plethora of highlight jams and defensive stops.
His acquisition may have cost the club All-Star power forward Kevin Love, but given Wiggins’ amazing athleticism and determination to be the best, it’s safe to say that Wolves fans are the winners of the exchange.