The future of the NBA is in good hands -- literally.
The league's best young point guards are rising to the top in our latest rankings of the top 25 players under 25, as nearly half the spots on the list -- and seven of the top 10 -- are occupied by some of the game's best floor generals.
Which rookies made the cut? Where will Zion Williamson land after the New Orleans Pelicans forward was forced to miss the entire regular season with a fractured right foot? Which young stars are destined to climb the list over the next few seasons?
ESPN NBA Insiders Bobby Marks, Kevin Pelton and Mike Schmitz are ranking their top 25 under 25 based on future potential, including where Williamson, Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Trae Young and LaMelo Ball check in.
Note: Each writer's individual rankings are listed at the bottom of this story. These rankings are an average of those ballots. You can find the 2021 version of these rankings here.
Ranking the five best sophomores in the NBA
25. Jaren Jackson Jr. | PF | Memphis Grizzlies
2021-22 stats: 16.3 PPG | 5.8 RPG | 2.3 BPG
Last year's ranking: NR
Fully healthy after 2020 knee surgery, Jackson has grown into the defensive force the Grizzlies imagined when they drafted him No. 4 overall in 2018. Jackson has built a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year with his ability to both protect the rim -- he led the league in blocks per game and block rate -- and chase smaller opponents on the perimeter at power forward.
The next step for Jackson is recapturing the offensive success he enjoyed in 2019-20, when he hit a career-high 39% of his 3s before dropping to 32% this season.