Many of us already have Golden State as three-peat champions at the start of the season (although the East’s Milwaukee, Toronto, and Boston begs to disagree) and already looking forward to 2019-20. In fantasy basketball, it’s normal to look ahead, especially in keeper leagues. Now is the time to sift through and investigate who you have and determine whether they are worth a keeper spot in your roster. If you have any of these 7 guys all under 24 yrs of age, though, be sure you have them as fantasy basketball keepers for next season.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves
Young at 23 years old, check. Can block shots, check. Can rebound, check, Can score, can shoot 3’s, can pass, with nice percentages. Check, check, check, and check!
KAT is the kind of fantasy talent that you want to build around. He is still not at his prime and his season averages of 23.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.8 blocks, 1.8 threes, on 52/39/84 shooting splits is just too tasty!
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF, Milwaukee Bucks
His stats may not be as varied as Towns but he is already scary good with lots of room to improve. At only 24 years old, that’s what you would expect from The Greek Freak, even though he’s just shooting below 75% from the line and 24% from 3. If these areas of improvement will be addressed next year to add to the already monstrous averages (27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.5 blocks on 58% shooting), he’ll be there at the very top of the food chain.
3.) Luka Doncic, PG/SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks
Looking like a seasoned vet already, Luka is still a decade away from his prime. Imagine how scary he will be as the seasons go by! The only “holes” in his fantasy game may be his FG% (43.2%) and quite surprisingly FT% (73%) but there’s no reason to believe he won’t improve on these categories. I mean, he is the only rookie ever to average 20.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.7 APG, and make 2.5 threes per outing.
4.) John Collins, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
Already a walking double-double in his second season, the only things that prevent Collins from joining elite ranks is the lack of defensive stats. Which is really surprising because he averaged almost a steal and 2 blocks in his second year at Wake Forest. He averages 0.3 steals and 0.4 blocks right now.) Once he gets that down to pat, Collins should be good to go as a second to third rounder next year. And oh, did I mention he is just 21 years old?
5.) Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls
Over the past 30 days, Markkanen is a top-10 fantasy player with averages of 24.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.3 blocks with 2.6 treys a game. He is no doubt the future for Chicago and it’s not entirely a bad idea if you make him the future in your fantasy team, too.
6.) Marvin Bagley III, PF, Sacramento Kings
If Markkanen is Chicago’s future, Bagley is Sacramento’s. The Kings has started to give MBIII more responsibility and he is looking more like a No. 2 overall pick every single day. He is turning out early fourth-round value in the past 7 days, averaging 24 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 blocks. If he can do this all season long, we’re looking at an elite fantasy prospect ladies and gentleman– at 19 years old! (Well, 20 in a few days.)
7.) Brandon Ingram, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers
Ingram is not a top-100 player for the season but in the past 7 days, he has played so well offensively that he came in at 88. He is averaging 29.3 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists during that span with 2 made threes a game. Even his percentages were better than before, hitting at a 56% clip from the floor and 76% from the line. Like Collins, the lack of defensive stats hurt Ingram.) I guess the most positive thing that we can draw from this is if you can put up that numbers with LeBron James on your team, then you have no problem doing it any other time. Remember, BI is still 21 years old.
Featured Image: (AP Photo/LM Otero)