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2008, April 1: ESPN.com – Rose’s Ballot: Best 23-and-under players

June 24, 2008

April 1, 2008 –

We asked our writers two questions:

Rank 1 to 5: Which players age 23 or under would you want as the foundation
of your team?

Wild card: Who else has the greatest upside?

Here are ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose’s picks:

1. LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Small Forward
Age: 23

An unselfish leader and point forward, LeBron is one of the best all-around
performers the game will ever see. He’s the standard at any age.

2. Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic
Center
Age: 22

Great attitude plus power, size, strength and athletic ability that is second to
none.

3. Carmelo
Anthony

Denver Nuggets
Small Forward
Age: 23

Versatile and a prolific scorer, Melo will go down as one of the best small
forwards in league history.

4. Deron
Williams

Utah Jazz
Point Guard
Age: 23

He’s Jason Kidd with a deadly jump shot.

5. Chris
Paul

New Orleans Hornets
Point Guard
Age: 22

Quick hands, classic floor general, the next Isiah Thomas. The sky is the limit
for this winner.

WILD CARD: Josh Smith
Atlanta Hawks
Power Forward
Age: 22

Scary upside and crazy athleticism. Among the league’s leaders in blocks and
steals, he’s also a good defender.