At the end of the NBA season, we said goodbye to a pair of legends in Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Then, this week, we watched Kevin Garnett say his farewell to the game. This marks a subtle trend in the league as a change of the guard is accelerated.
In losing these personalities and the legendary talent that they brought to each game, the question becomes, who are the young players who will step up and fill that void?
There are a number of young players entering the NBA who are chomping at the bit to make their mark on the game. But, who’s game resembles these legends the most?
Here are the three young players most likely to play spiritual successor to these retired legends:
Devin Booker: Mamba-lite
Devin Booker isn’t a household name at this point in his young career but, it seems clear that he will be a good player in the NBA for years to come.
He was named to the All-Rookie First Team this season and the standout averaged 13 points, two assists and two rebounds a game.
He played in a crowded backcourt consisting of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight but blossomed midway through the season. He scored 42 percent from the field despite having to take on a terrifying scoring load after injuries to his backcourt mates.
He can score it from deep and the only three players to eclipse the 1,000-point mark quicker were LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. That pedigree is hard to ignore.
Anthony Davis: The New Fundamental
Before the ascension of Stephen Curry as an MVP and game-changer, Anthony Davis was the best candidate for the next MVP after LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Things haven’t gone as smooth as he would have liked down in New Orleans but, the Brow is too big of a force to be denied.
His scoring has improved and he does a little bit of everything for the Pelicans. He just needs a little bit of help and he can be the cornerstone of your franchise.
He has a steady shooting stroke and his game will still be relevant long after he loses some of that explosive athleticism.
The day that he was drafted at number one overall, we all believed that he could be the best player in the NBA someday. Now, he will have to take the next step in his evolution in the coming seasons to fulfill his promise.
Karl-Anthony Towns: Da Kid Reloaded
KAT is in a special place because he was mentored by Kevin Garnett himself in Minnesota. He quickly looked like the future of the center position with his play last season.
The young Wildcat alumni looks like an unbelievable combination of size, speed, defence and athleticism.
Under Tom Thibodeau, the young frontcourt player will become an even bigger threat to the opposition as a shutdown defender. Luckily for Towns, he already has a luxury that KG never had as a Timberwolf; he has Andrew Wiggins as a running mate.
Can he end Minny’s playoff drought?