The NBA is going too look a whole lot different five years from now. Legends still playing in the league today will be gone, and young players still making a name for themselves could be the faces of the league in five seasons. It is always fun too look into the future of sports, and the NBA is no different as many people have their own opinions on how the league will play out. Choosing 15 random players, not all of these guys will be some of the best players in the league five years from now, as the scenarios of most of these players differ from one another.
In this article, we will be looking at 15 NBA players (or soon to be players), and deciphering what their career will look look like five years from now. We will also be projecting some of the stats of the players still in the league on this list, which adds to the hypothetical fun. Don't take this list too seriously now, as of course this is all speculation but years of basketball knowledge actually has me thinking this where these players will be five years from now.
As always, feel free to leave any other players you want to include in this list and where they will be half a decade from now in the comment section below.
Here is our projection of where these 15 NBA stars will be in five years.
15 Jahlil Okafor - All-Star
Projected Stats: 23.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.1 apg
Jahlil Okafor was drafted with the 3rd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and looked to be the right decision as he was a dominant player for Duke in college. After an excellent rookie season where he averaged over 17 points per game for the Sixers, Okafor's weaknesses showed in his sophomore season especially with the arrival of Joel Embiid. Okafor is one of the worst defenders in the league, and it looks as though Philadelphia is not the place for him too prosper. Even though people are starting too call Okafor a bust, I have seen this guy play and know that he can put up big numbers if given the right situation. In five years from now, Okafor will be on a different team putting up all-star numbers.
14 Dwyane Wade - Retired/NBA Analyst
Dwyane Wade hasn't aged as gracefully on the court as guys like LeBron James, as he is not nearly the same player he was just a year or two ago. Wade has had one of the greatest NBA careers of all-time, as he is often regarded as one of the league's best shooting guards ever and is a three-time NBA champion. Five years from now however, I see Wade lounging on a beach with his wife and kids instead of the court, as he will be retired from the league. Wade will go down as one of the best NBA players of all-time, and fans should enjoy watching him for now as he will not be around forever. You might even be seeing him on TNT as a new analyst.
13 Nikola Jokic - MVP Caliber
Projected Stats: 22.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 6.7 apg
Nikola Jokic is going to be one of the best NBA big men of all-time, mark my words. At 22 years of age, Jokic has already solidified himself as one of the most talented players in the league. A scorer, rebounder, and excellent passer for his height, Jokic was an absolute steal with the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets. With already a few triple-doubles under his belt, more is definitely on the way for the big man from Serbia as he is primed for an amazing NBA career. Five years from now, I see Jokic tearing up the league on his way to becoming an M.V.P. caliber player as he leads the Nuggets to the promise land.
12 Brandon Ingram - Fringe Bust
Projected Stats: 17.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.8 apg
Brandon Ingram was supposed to be the next Kevin Durant, and while there is still much time to improve for Ingram, in five years from now I don't see Ingram being the player scouts thought he would be. After not even cracking 10 points per game in his rookie season, Ingram didn't shoot the ball well as he struggled adjusting to the NBA game. He showed signs of stardom in his rookie season, but Ingram doesn't look to have the same "it" factor that guys like Durant did even when they came into the league. Five years from now, I see the Lakers still giving Ingram the minutes to produce as he will only be 24 years old, but I think at that point Los Angeles will understand they should have went with someone else with the 2nd pick in this years draft. Sorry Lakers fans.
11 Manu Ginobili - Spurs Coaching Staff
Manu Ginobili will most definitely be retired five years from now, as he is 39 years old and his time in the league is short or perhaps finished as the Spurs just lost to the Warriors and his future is unknown. If he retires or not this summer, Manu Ginobili had a amazing NBA career after being drafted with the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, winning four NBA championships in his time in San Antonio. Ginobili has one of the best minds in the game, and I believe five years from now he will be on the Spurs coaching staff. While I don't know if Gregg Popovich will still be in the equation, I believe Ginobili will continue to build his basketball legacy as a coach of some sorts for San Antonio.
10 Kyle Lowry - Sixers Veteran
Projected Stats: 16.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.2 apg
While Kyle Lowry may not sign with his hometown team the Philadelphia 76ers this summer, I believe he will find his way back home in the span of five years. He is currently contending for the title with the Toronto Raptors with fellow star DeMar DeRozan, but they don't necessarily have the talent to really compete with teams such as the Warriors or Cavaliers. The best move for Lowry, even though some think it could never happen, I think going to an up and coming team such as the Sixers could be the best move for Lowry, as he could be a veteran on a championship winning team for the remainder of his career. In five years from now, I see Lowry averaging around 16 points per game for a could be legendary Sixers team.
9 Paul George - Lakers All-Star
Projected Stats: 20.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.1 apg
Paul George is a superstar in the NBA, but I don't know if Indiana is the right place for him as of now as he has ran his course with the Pacers as it's time for a change. George has his sights set on Los Angeles for the next stage of his career, and five years from now, I see George being a star player for Los Angeles, even at 32 years of age. Talks of George going to Los Angeles has been definitely apparent over the course of this season, and the Lakers will have something special in a few years if all of their young pieces develop they way they think they can and they use their high-profile city to bring in free agents such as George. A mix of young and older star players could make the Lakers a dangerous team. There you go Lakers fans.
8 8. Derrick Rose - Veteran Bench Player
Projected Stats: 5.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
Derrick Rose was one of the best players in the league a few years ago, but injuries derailed what could have been a legendary career. Now playing for the New York Knicks, there is no way Rose is still on the team five seasons from now, as I believe we could see him in a new uniform as early as next season. His game has not been the same as is was during his prime with the Bulls, and I think five more seasons of the basketball grind is going to take a toll on what is left of his game. With the fire and determination still most likely being there for Rose, even though he will be just a bench player for most likely a championship contending team. Rose will still be in the league, trying to build on the legacy he built in Chicago.
7 Ben Simmons - MVP
Projected Stats: 20.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 7.6 apg
Ben Simmons is going to be the next big name of the basketball world, similar to the likes of guys such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. Simmons was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 1st pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but sat his true rookie season out this year as he dealt with a few injuries along the way. In five years from now, people will know the true caliber talent in Ben Simmons, as he has all the tools to be a superstar player in the NBA.
In the year 2022, Ben Simmons is going to playing for an MVP title and most likely a league title, as he and the Sixers will be the beasts of the east. Trust The Process.
6 Russell Westbrook - Ringless G.O.A.T
Projected Stats: 17.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 7.2 apg
Russell Westbrook had one of the greatest NBA season of all-time this year, averaging an astounding 31.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg, and 10.4 apg. Averaging a triple double for the year, those numbers haven't been seen before since Oscar Robertson decades ago, and a year like that has to propel Westbrook among the greatest of all-time list. With Kevin Durant on his team still, Russell was bound to win a championship or two to his name, but with Durant off to the Golden State Warriors, I don't see Russell Westbrook winning a championship during his career.
I see him producing a few more incredible individual seasons on the Thunder, and five years from now, I think people will see Russell Westbrook as the greatest NBA player of all-time to never win a championship.
5 Chris Paul - Spurs Veteran
Projected Stats: 13.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.8 apg
Chris Paul is one of the greatest NBA point-guards of all-time. A prime example of a perfect point-guard, Chris Paul is an excellent passer to go along with his premier scoring as well. With great individual statistics and awards, Chris Paul has yet to win a championship with the Los Angeles Clippers, and I believe his time with the team is coming too an end as they haven't even gotten out of the second round with the great talent they have.
I believe as early as this summer, Chris Paul will join forces with fellow superstar Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs, coming off of the bench as a great veteran presence behind possibly Dejounte Murray, who will most likely be a higher volume scorer on the team five years from now than Paul. Hopefully Paul wins a ring, as he definitely deserves it as he is one of the best of all-time.
4 4. Malik Monk - Scoring Champ
Projected Stats: 28.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.5 apg
This one may seem a bit outlandish to some reading, but Malik Monk is the type of prospect to develop into one of the best scorers in the league, and I believe five years from now he could be the top scorer in the NBA. After having a great freshman season at Kentucky, Monk is going to most likely be drafted with a top 5 pick in this year's upcoming draft. Monk has all the tools to be a dominant all-around scorer in the NBA, as he even scored 47 points in a college game, setting a Kentucky record for most point scored. Monk could end up averaging around 28 to 30 points per game in the prime of his career, possibly taking home a few scoring champ titles along the way.
3 Lonzo Ball - All-Star
Projected Stats: 18.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 8.2 apg
Lonzo Ball and his father are some of the most polarizing figures in the basketball world right now. A great player in high-school and college, Ball deserves the recognition he is getting on the court, but his father LaVar and the BigBallerBrand the two are so fond of has brought enough baggage along with Lonzo has some fans weary of drafting him on their team. An all-around player, Lonzo will most likely be drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers with the 2nd pick in this year's draft, and I believe he is going to end up being one of the faces of the franchise for a long time. Five seasons from now, I don't see Lonzo being one of the most dominant players in the league like his dad thinks so, bit I do project him putting up some serious numbers that you see above, making him an all-star player five years from now.
2 Giannis Antetokounmpo - Reigning MVP
Projected Stats: 23.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 7.1 apg
Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be the best player in the NBA five seasons from now. Already one of the top players in the league, Giannis is only 22 years of age and he is only going to get better from here. At 6'11", Giannis plays the game with such smoothness and grace that you can forgot how tall he is. Being able to play any position on the court, Giannis is able to put up some incredible numbers and is going to be one of the biggest names in basketball for a long, long time. In five years Giannis is going to be 27 years old which will be the prime of his career, and I project him to be putting up big numbers on the way too some MVP titles.
1 LeBron James - G.O.A.T
Projected Stats: 17.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 6.1 apg
LeBron James is currently chasing Michael Jordan for the title of the Greatest Of All-Time (G.O.A.T), and I honestly believe that five years from now, King James will be widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever live. Already one of the game's undisputed legends, LeBron still has six or seven seasons left in the tank, and I believe five more years of LeBron like play will have the tides swing from Michael Jordan being the G.O.A.T to James. Of course, LeBron would probably need another couple of titles in that time to silence the doubters.
Whether he wins another ring or not, five more seasons of accumulated stats will have fans understanding the legacy and talent of the kid from Akron.
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