Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo checks in at No. 14 on list for Top 25 under 25. Should he be higher?

Shandel Richardson

In the past, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo has said he wanted his name mentioned among the NBA's elite players.

Adebayo has needed just three seasons to accomplish that. The latest comes with a recent ranking of the league's top 25 players under 25. Adebayo was rated No. 14 by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley.

"His versatility has fueled his rise as a top-shelf center, even though he's not a great rim protector and has all of four career triples in 216 games," Buckley wrote. "He's so good at everything else—the only player other than Giannis Antetokounmpo averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and one block—that any shortcomings are easy to stomach."

The question here is this: Should Adebayo be ranked higher?

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic tops the list, as he rightfully should. Donic has proven he is the league's best young superstar. The top five is rounded out by New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons. Again, no real objections. The next five are Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) and Brandon Ingram (New Orleans) but the questions start to arise after that.

Adebayo is behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexande (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jaylen Brown (Celtics) and De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings).

A case could easily be made to place Adebayo higher than any of them. Adebayo is putting together one of the best seasons for a frontcourt player in league history and appeared in his first All-Star Game. Not only is he a key contributor for the No. 4 team in the Eastern Conference, he is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and earning respect for his defensive game. He's also on pace to become just the sixth player in history to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. The others are Larry Bird, Chris Webber, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Garnett and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Not bad company.

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