Feb 6, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts to a call against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA: 6 Young Stars That Will Be on the Olympic Team in 2016


There’s so much young talent in the NBA, but some of the youngsters just don’t make the cut. There are plenty of good guards in the league, and this list consists mostly of them.

These days, it’s hard to find a good center that doesn’t get injured over and over again. This is why the list has mostly guards. Some of these may surprise you, but other than that, it’s expected.

Mar 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

1. Klay Thompson:

This guy would be one of the surprising ones. Thompson is one of the best shooters in the NBA, and while he may be inconsistent, he still scores 10 points per game regularly, while averaging 16 on the season.

When he scores more and efficiently, his team is much better because of it. I’m sure that there is a direct correlation. By the time the 2016 Olympics arrive, I’m sure that Thompson will be more balanced by then, making the cut.

2. Kyrie Irving:

Irving is  pure scorer, there’s nothing else to say. Guys like Irving and Paul Pierce are guys who take away the three point title from pure shooters, simply because they can get hot in a hurry. Irving is a future MVP and will lead the Cavaliers to big things, after they get another lottery pick. Fortunately for him, the Olympic team consists of those based on their skill to play. Irving will be Kobe’s replacement by 2016, if he’s retired by then.

3. Stephen Curry:

There shouldn’t be any questions about this guy being on this list. Curry has every right to be here. Ever since being snubbed from the 2013 All-Star game, he’s averaging around 26 PPG and looking better than ever. He’s a pure shooter and can get very hot in a hurry. It seems to me as if he’s shooting 70% from the three point line. When he puts down the ball, he could finish as one of the best shooters in the NBA. Curry will be an all-star next year, but he will continue to improve as 2016 approaches.

4. Nikola Vucevic:

Feb 04, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) shoots a foul shot during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Magic 78-61. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This is definitely one of the guys you may ask questions about. Vucevic had to take the role of Dwight Howard this season, and of course he’s not doing as well, but he’s showing potential. He’s averaging double digits in points and rebounds, and has collected over 20 rebounds per game multiple times. He’s also

a good scorer and will show improvement just like Curry. He may be at a Dwight-level by the time 2016 comes.

5. Kenneth Faried:

No, there aren’t very many big men on this list, but Faried will deserve a spot. He dices up defense and gets a uncontested slam, or a nice post-up. He’s not your ideal small forward, but he works very well under pressure, and will be the Nuggets’ star in a few years. He was a steal in the NBA draft and continues to improve by the day. It’s going to be scary when he learns how to play as a veteran. This guy is going places and he will be on the Olympic team.

6. Damian Lillard:

Lillard is only a rookie this year, but the Oakland native, who was selected 6th overall, has not failed to impress. He’s averaging 19.0 PPG this season, and he was the sixth draft pick in the NBA. That’s saying something. Likely going to be the rookie of the year, Lillard has a very bright future in Portland, as he can only get better. Once the Blazers start to win some games, he will gain more experience, increasing his basketball IQ. He will then be qualified for the national team.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors Orlando Magic Portland Trail Blazers