Current NBA Players That I Thought Would Be Successful From Early On

As a fan, I've always really enjoyed seeing players I've followed early on make it to the highest levels of their sport. There is something that makes me feel so happy about believing in someone early on and actually seeing them make it! Here are some of the players I've thought would (and will) have successful careers in the NBA:
  1. JJ Redick (drafted 2006)
    My absolute favorite college player of all time although everyone hated him. Everyone considered him to be the best shooter in college basketball history, but few thought he would be successful in the NBA. When he got to the NBA it looked like his detractors were right. He couldn't get minutes, and looked very one-dimensional. I can say with pride that I have always believed he would do well one day. Today he has solidified himself as one of the best in the NBA.
  2. Jeremy Lin (undrafted 2010)
    Saw his tapes while he was just a junior at Harvard when he first started getting some recognition for being a division 1 Asian-American starter. He had some huge breakout games at Harvard against some highly ranked competition, and I have been rooting for his success ever since, all the way through getting undrafted, summer league breakout game against John Wall and of course Linsanity. He's been around to many teams but is now widely regarded as one of the most solid backup PGs in the league.
  3. Kyrie Irving (drafted 2011)
    Saw his high school tapes on YouTube when he was just a junior. The way he moved and finished really impressed me and I thought he had some of the smoothest and craftiest games I've ever seen. Wound up as an NBA #1 pick somehow but mostly because it was an extremely thin draft class, so many other people were confused at this pick because of his injuries and youth. He has been one of the brightest stars in the NBA.
  4. Kemba Walker (drafted 2011)
    Man simply has the heart of a lion. He single-handedly willed his team at Uconn to a national championship, the greatest sports feat that I have been a fan of. Seeing the fire in his eyes from that season, I couldn't help but get extremely inspired and proud, and still do. He's one of the biggest rising stars in the NBA right now and is a pure scorer, having scoring outbursts of high 30 and 40 pt games on a regular basis. He's gonna continue to help his franchise for years to come
  5. Andre Drummond (drafted 2012)
    Saw his high school tapes and instantly could see he was supremely skilled. He was ambidextrous, finishing everything thrown to him with either hand. He moved and had handles like someone his size shouldn't. He then performed pretty underwhelmingly during his only season at Uconn (not extremely well). However, he has now moved on to become an absolute wrecking ball in the NBA like I had only hoped. Led the league in rebounds, 20-20 games, and had his first all-star appearance this past season!
  6. Phil Pressey (undrafted 2013)
    Saw his YouTube videos from high school and admired the way he stayed in control of his body and his quickness really stood out to me. He was also tough as nails and would beat everyone in sprints by a mile. He did decently well at Mizzou, went undrafted, but played well enough for him to get a tryout with the Celtics and eventually made it. The fact that he is 5'9" is downright impressive. Has had a spotty NBA career so far at best but still has huge potential in my opinion.
  7. Kris Dunn (Drafted 2016)
    I used to watch clips of his high school tapes and had an inkling that he'd be a future lottery pick. After following him more closely over the past 2 years, I believe he will be extremely successful in the NBA early on. He has the athleticism and explosiveness of only a few NBA players and can distribute the ball with the best of them. Remember the name.
  8. Buddy Hield (Drafted 2016)
    I did not follow Buddy when he was in high school at all. However from seeing his performances in college, I have become a true believer. He has the size, athleticism, basketball IQ, and one of the fastest releases in the game. He's a pure scorer and I think he even might become a better version of Bradley Beal. I'm really hoping he has a great rookie year and beyond!
  9. Jayson Tatum (Drafted 2017)
    Pure scorer, seems destined for the path of greatness in my opinion. Going to be a deadly player one day.