Earlier this week we highlighted the NBA's top 25 players under age 25, ranked by who we projected to have the best chances at fulfilling the highest potential. As I mentioned on TrueHoop TV, the difficulty in executing this exercise signifies the incredible amount of depth of young talent available in the league. Inevitably, there would be those left off the list despite probably deserving to place among the top 25. I wish we could have 50 spots in the top 25, but there has to be a line.
Here are my picks for the next 10 under-25 talents in the league, again ordered by a combination of potential and chances of realizing said potential. In that sense, think of them as the first 10 picks of the second round of the draft.
Last year the No. 1 player on my Next 10 list was John Wall, who has since graduated to the top-25 list. Beal hopes to do the same next year as a talented scoring combo guard. He's had a rough, injury-riddled start to his career, and it hasn't helped that his more-talented Wizards teammates (Wall, Nene) have also been unable to stay healthy.
In the time he's been on the floor, he's shown the ability to knock down the 3-point shot at a high rate (44 percent this season), and finish at the rim (restricted-area field goal percentage of 61) and also shown the ability to make plays for others off the dribble. The next step for Beal is to be able to string together a solid stretch of healthy games; he isn't far off from being one of the best shooting guards in the Eastern Conference.