25. Los Angeles Lakers G D’Angelo Russell
Stats: 40.5-percent from the field, 15.6 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.5 RPG; Age: 21
Still in the infancy stages of his NBA career, Russell has plenty of time to careen up this list. The Ohio State product has proven the ability to be very effective in catch-and-shoot situations. At times, he’s demonstrated why the Lakers selected him No. 2 Overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. Russell’s penchant for flashy passes and scoring outbursts has also come in spurts. With that said, his consistency across the board truly has to improve if he’s to become an All-Star level player.
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24. Boston Celtics G Marcus Smart
Stats: 35.9-percent from the field, 10.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 4.6 APG; Age: 23
Smart can’t really stretch the floor from the perimeter. As a guard, this is usually a significant issue…but not for Smart. He’s the epitome of a great glue guy for Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics. Smart’s bulldog-like tenacity makes him one of the best defenders in the league — regardless of position. Smart’s deficiencies on the offensive end of the floor does limit his ceiling within this list. However, there’s a reason why Stevens often has Smart on the floor when it’s crunch time.
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