The NBA season is just around the corner, and with it comes a new crop of players who are poised to make an impact on their teams. Here’s a list of 10 players that could be on your radar for breakout seasons in 2019-2020.
Ja Morant is a 19-year-old rookie with an incredible amount of potential. He has a lot of room to grow and will likely have a breakout season in 2019.
The NBA season of 2021-2022 is just a few weeks away, and we’re already projecting the next group of players that will elevate their skills to new heights. The NBA has a lot of talent right now, and the league’s future seems bright even as stars like LeBron James grow older and closer to retirement.
After all, the NBA is a league for young men, and there are some rising stars in the league. Based on their glimpses of brilliance last year, these are the ten players who are most likely set for breakthrough seasons. Expect some young players to bloom into All-Stars come All-Star Weekend next year, with more experience in the league and another stretch of maturity in training camp.
Terance Mann is number ten.
Last season, the second-year forward had a solid regular season, averaging 7.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game. Mann, on the other hand, shone in the playoffs, filling up for Paul George while Kawhi Leonard was injured. Last year, Mann’s Game 6 effort, which helped the Los Angeles Clippers reach the Western Conference Finals, was legendary.
In a crucial Game 6, the 24-year-old scored 39 points on 15-21 shooting from the field and 7-10 shooting from outside the arc to help the Clippers reach their first-ever Conference Finals. Mann should be a major component of the Clippers squad in 2022, which will increase his statistics across the board, based on his confidence as a scorer and his tenacity.
De’Andre Hunter (9)
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It’s incredible that the Atlanta Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without De’Andre Hunter, who should have been their starting small forward. Despite only appearing in 23 games during the regular season, the athletic scorer averaged 15.0 points per game in a short amount of time. Hunter will help an Atlanta squad that is already a contender next season.
Hunter will almost certainly be a key component for the Hawks, who are developing together under the leadership of superstar Trae Young. The former No. 4 overall selection possesses the height and shooting ability to be a very good two-way player (35.5 percent from three in his first season). Hunter will help the Hawks improve if he stays healthy.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, no. 8
Because the 23-year-old was an All-Star snub last year, it will be difficult for Gilgeous-Alexander to perform better than he has been. However, the guard should make the All-Star Team in 2022. Expect more from the former No. 11 pick, who averaged 23.7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game in his only third season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s franchise player, Gilgeous-Alexander, signed a max rookie contract to stay with the club indefinitely. Gilgeous-Alexander is the ideal star player for the Thunder in terms of athleticism and two-way ability in the contemporary game. Expect the fourth-year guy to demonstrate even more fresh aspects of his attacking game in 2022.
Kevin Porter Jr. is number seven.
courtesy of Bleacher Report
Kevin Porter Jr’s behavior has been questioned for some time, but with the Houston Rockets last year, he was on his best behavior. Porter Jr was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers for free, but he quickly established himself as a starter for Houston, averaging 16.6 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, and 6.3 assists per game in 26 games.
Porter Jr. may be the Rockets’ starting point guard, with John Wall likely to be shut down until he is sold. The 21-year-old is gifted with handles, passing skills, and a natural ability to create his own shot, indicating that he has the makings of an All-Star player down the road. The Rockets may have discovered a gem in Porter Jr if he can stay focused on his game.
Caris LeVert is number six on the list.
Caris LeVert was acquired by the Indiana Pacers in the blockbuster James Harden deal, despite playing in just 35 games previous season. LeVert averaged 20.7 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, and 4.9 assists per game over that time frame, indicating that he might be a future All-Star. LeVert is a superb shooting guard who is expected to become the Pacers’ long-term starter (assuming he is not moved for Ben Simmons).
He’s 6’6″, has a propensity for scoring both inside and outside the paint, and is 27 years old. To show what he can accomplish as a full-time starter, LeVert has to be healthy enough to play in at least 75 games. LeVert will be entering his sixth season, and now is the time for him to develop into the scorer that many anticipate him to be.
Darius Garland, No. 5
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Darius Garland is a unique point guard since, at such a young age, he possesses a pure offensive game. Last season, the 21-year-old scored 17.4 points per game and 6.1 assists per game while making 39.5 percent of his three-point attempts. The Cavaliers have such high hopes for him that they are ready to trade Collin Sexton (24.3 PPG) for the younger guard.
Garland is unlikely to be named an All-Star next season, but his progress will be evident. His greatest step forward will be improved playmaking and more confidence as a go-to scorer. Expect excellent things on the floor from the Cavaliers’ 6’1″ point guard, who will be surrounded by an outstanding big man in Evan Mobley.
Michael Porter Jr. (#4)
The Denver Nuggets made a brilliant decision by selecting Porter Jr with the 14th overall selection. That was a no-brainer since the swingman had glimpses of greatness prior to the draft before injuries lowered his draft status. Porter Jr, on the other hand, has remained reasonably healthy enough to get a maximum contract deal this summer.
Last season, Porter Jr averaged 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 44.5 percent from three-point range, indicating that he will be the Nuggets’ #2 or #3 option next season. The 23-year-old has a lot of potential, and if he becomes an All-Star, the Nuggets will be a serious contender in the Western Conference.
LaMelo Ball is number three on the list.
(Image courtesy of Hoops Habit)
Even though Anthony Edwards made a late run for Rookie of the Year, LaMelo Ball was the most impressive rookie last season. From the start of the regular season, Ball averaged 15.7 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 6.1 assists per game, showcasing many facets of his all-around game.
Ball already exudes confidence on the court, so he’ll be more at ease and at ease in 2022. Ball is certain to get some All-Star votes, but not enough to make the squad. Still, LaMelo Ball is on the way, and his meteoric climb to superstardom will begin in 2022.
Anthony Edwards, No. 2
Kyle Terada of USA Today Sports contributed to this article.
As the season proceeded, Anthony Edwards’ performance improved dramatically, and he even had a chance to win Rookie of the Year. LaMelo had performed better earlier in the competition, therefore he was awarded the prize in the end. Edwards, on the other hand, is a unique talent who has the potential to become the greatest scorer on a Minnesota Timberwolves team that already has a superstar in Karl-Anthony Towns.
Edwards, who is 6’4″ tall, has a wide range of abilities, including the ability to shoot the ball and finish at the hoop. Edwards, who averaged 19.3 points per game last season, could be a standout player this year, averaging over 20 points each game. He’s athletic enough to be a dominating player, so anticipate big things from the 20-year-old.
Ja Morant is number one.
Last season, Ja Morant looked like a superstar at moments, and he’ll be named to an All-Star Team this year. The energetic point guard has already shown glimpses of a young Russell Westbrook, but he is more controlled and has a superior jump shot.
Morant should be watched since, at the age of 22, he has already guided the Memphis Grizzlies to the playoffs. Morant averaged 19.1 points per game and 7.4 assists per game last season, so expect his scoring statistics to increase as he establishes himself as one of the greatest point guards in the NBA.
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