So the NBA has shown the future is bright with some young stars, but which one (or more) takes another step up this season?
The guys I am thinking of are Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Paul George, Blake Griffin and Brook Lopez even there is someone else just put them in.
I'll just say from a skills standpoint, I dont know how much Harden and Curry can improve. They really just need to focus on intensity and consistency, more defensively for Curry. Paul George and Kyrie Irving are both going to start entering the top 10 player in the league convo this season, and I think Kyrie, if healthy, might finish as the number 1 PG in the league. The way he sets tempo and changes speeds reminds me of a cross between CP3 and Rose.
Brook is what he is and Blake, I'll believe it when I see it. His development has left something to be desired.
Is a 35 year old still young for a basketball player?
y'al don't have a sense of humor...
I would like to see Steph stay 100% healthy for a couple more seasons, though I'm not sure if there is much more he can add to his game offensively. I'd like to see him improve his playmaking and his defensive footwork. He is pretty quick, and I think with a bit of refinement he could be a handful on the defensive end.
Blake needs to show a post game for me to think he has taken another step. Until he can start reliably getting baskets of post feeds that aren't dunks, he will always be a one dimensional player. He needs to break his trend of declining rebounding numbers and work on his pick and roll d, if he can do that, he and CP3 would be a deadly pairing defending pick and rolls.
Tyreke Evans is a guy I'm interested to see suit up this year. Its generally thought that he will be put in a Manu Ginobli-esque sixth man role, and it will be interesting to see how he plays in this role for the Pelicans. Will he be able to come in with the second unit, distribute the ball and create shots for himself, or will he continue to regress like he was in Sacramento? The synergy between he, Eric Gordan and Jrue Holiday will be interesting to watch develop, as they are all need the ball in there hands a lot. Hopefully this year will be a throwback to his rookie season and he can get back on the right track now that he is out of Sac Town.
And just some of my own thoughts, even though he is far from a young star, and I'm not sure if he will even get consistent starts, I'm really excited for Alec Burks finally getting minutes in Utah, along with Kanter and Favors. I think Gordon Hayward will probably assert himself as the number one option on offence this season, but considering how many losses they are expected to rack up with such a young team, I think Tyrone Corbin will be experimenting with a number of different guys as the number one option.
I want to see Irving take on more of a playmaker role and his ability to make others around him better
i would like to see Irving up his apg from 6 to like 8
Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Jonas Valanciunas, and Harrison Barnes
Kinda was staying away from rookies/sophomores. I hope you are right about Jordan improving, but I think Cousins is still far too immature, especially after hearing about him in USA camp.
What happened in USA camp? I thought it was supposed to have went well...
All I could think of when I heard about Shaq buying ownership in the Kings was that I was hoping DMC would get some schooling from one of the best. I'd love to see a BMac and DMC combo for years to come
Paul George is very good but people tend to overrated him, where as Wall tends to get overlooked.
I think James Harden is going to have more effective shooting stats and easier assists thanks to Dwight and the big group of shooters/floor spacers. If his totals stay the same but he is more efficient great but if his totals go up with his percentages he will probably be the unanimous best SG in the league currently and, if the team does well, get mvp talk.
But i think this is the year peopleremember why John Wall was the fist pick of the draft
As much as I pick on DeAndre Jordan, I think Doc Rivers will help improve his game (as well as Blake Griffin's) more than Vinny D ever did.
I think James Harden is the one I would focus on, as this is the year the Rockets will add playoff success. He was good on a big stage in OKC and he will have an opportunity to show he can do it as a first option.
I think Anthony Davis, with the surplus of playmakers on the Pelicans, could make a big step forward if healthy. I think he is only 2-3 years away from becoming an all-star. He just needs to work on his jumper and face-up game and then just continue to get more comfortable in the NBA game.
Enes Kanter could also be in for a breakout year. He is entering his third year in the league, when big men often break out (see Zach Randolph and Joakim Noah, amongst others), and could easily be one of Utah's top two scorers, along with Gordon Hayward, who should also see his scoring numbers rise dramatically. Kanter's efficiency and per-minute stats are already good and he figures to play an even bigger role in the offense this upcoming season.
I agree that Kanter could have a very good year, in practice yesterday he hit 21 of 23 shots from 15/16 ft, this should be a very interesting year.
i wanna see derrick favors and greg monroe take that next step
The Jazz front court are both due for a breakout year with a experience under their belts and opportunity presenting itself.
Also I think Reggie Jackson is going to have a breakout year and be OKCs clear cut 6th man of the future, he has the size and skill to play either guard position which is perfect for that role.
I think this is the year that Wall establishes himself as 'elite'
Anthony Davis will make a big jump, an infusion of talent certainly wont hurt him
I really expect to see Kyrie continue his progression with the NBA's elite. With the Cavaliers acquiring Jarrett Jack I expect to see Kyrie play SG just a bit more this season where he will continue to showcase his shooting ability. If you watched the Cavaliers last season you understand outside of Kyrie, how terrible the shooting was. It would be very interesting to see the Assist numbers Kyrie puts up if Anthony Bennett and him connect on the pick n roll/pick n pop on top of having a down low presence when Bynum is healthy. Very excited to see what Cleveland can do this year!
As a Jazz fan I'd love it to be one of the 3 young players, Kanter, Hayward or Favors but excluding the Jazz players I'd go with Davis or Wall. Both have enormous potential and the skills to make it happen.
Greg Monroe and Brandon Jennings....Better supporting cast. Theres no excuse why these two should not be taking the next step into stardom.
Klay Tommygun Thompson
I really don't see how Harden or Curry can take a step forward. They are already offensively elite and I don't think anyone expects them to be a game changer defensively. Both would obviously make a US Olympic team if this was an Olympic year, meaning they are already viewed as top 12 US players. How much higher can they go?
I think Brook Lopez takes a "step back" because the ball gets shared and his minutes continue to get limited with Garnett being able to play some center. So his per game numbers either stay the same or they go down a bit.
I think J. Jack takes the ball out of Kyrie's hands a bit in Cleveland, also hurting Kyrie's per game stats and maybe even cutting a minute or two out per game. I'm not sure if Cleveland competing for playoff spot makes up for that.
But if you want to talk young guys, I think Drummond and Davis make a bit move toward recognition as very good basketball players. In established players, I think Rubio takes a step forward and starts getting talked about as a game changing and top PG.
I wanna see Jonas Valanciunas takes the next step. Hopefully he will have an healthy season this year.
After reading yesterday on hoopshype that a deal is far from done yahoo is reporting that PG signed a max contract extension worth 90+ millions over 5 years.
I'm very happy for Indiana to keep all the pieces they developed there and really hope Paul George can match the expectations there which pretty hard to match with all the hype lately around him but he'll do fine I think. People seem to forget how good of a defender he really is and are often only talking about his weak offensive percentages.
Btw why can't I post a new forum topic here? On top of the forum it says that I'm not allowed to create a new topic!?
I pick Anthony Davis. If healty i believe he could be an amazing player.... I think John Wall could be another choice for this race.
Someone already mentioned him but I would like it to be Eric Gordon.
I think he has the ability to be an elite scorer but as we all know he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Even if he doesn't make the all star team it would be great if it was only because there are so many great guards in the West.
marc gasol... he's already considered by most people the 2nd best center in the league, he is the defensive player of the year and he has taken the grizzlies to the western finals and all that averaging "only" 14.1 ppg and 7.8 rb... i think he is ready to increase those numbers to 20ppg- 11rb - 4.5ast,
John Wall, Derrick Favors, Damian Lillard, & Rudy Gay
Since we can't add new forum topics, I just wanted to throw my opinion on another player I think will have a "next step" season: Harrison Barnes. Nevermind the natural rookie-to-sophomore jump that most players go through. Add on Iguodala as his practice opponent, and the fact that as a sixth man, he will be brought in for advantagious match ups, and most likely still play starters minutes with is ability to play 3 positions in spurts, and its hard not to see a breakout season, around the tune of 15-16 ponts ~5 rebounds and 2 assists, with room for improvement. He could win the 6th Man and Most Improved Player awards in the same year.
A quick aside: with Green, Thompson, Iggy and Barnes, the Warriors are loaded on the wing... but the loss of Jack is going to be hard to overcome.
More confident and mature.
After this past post season he now has that confidence...
Tobias Harris, Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter, all have the talent to avg. 15-22 PPG this year.
Tobias Harris, Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter, all have the talent to avg. 15-22 PPG this year.
1) Valenciunas will certainly take a big step this season.
2) Ross...I'm leaning towards no. Shown very few signs so far, but I do expect him to make the jump at some point.
3) Lowry: Make or break season to either be a top tier PG or just average - I'm leaning toward the latter.
4) Demar Derosan: takes baby steps every season. He will never be much more than he is now - maybe just a little better at it.
5) Ruday Gay: For what he is getting paid, it better be a breakout season!
6) Amir Johnson: You never expect him to get better every year, but he always does. Considdering he got drafted out of HS he may even make an all star team by the time he's finished his career.
8) Quincy Acey: I do actually expect him to play this season. So yes, that is a step forward.
I think that this can be the year that he shows growth on his offensive skills. He averaged 6.8 last season. I do believe that if he can average 10 to 12 points a game that would be nice. To be honest he still has room to grow as a defender. I think we will see a lot more on both ends of the floor for Iman this season.
While these two may not even be considered young stars due to their limited sample size, both have played well in their limited roles behind more established players in Chris Paul and Al Jefferson. Now that both have the confidence and opportunity to start for their teams, I believe they will take the next step in proving that they are legitimate NBA talents to build around. Only time will tell if they can become all-stars but I believe Bledsoe and Kanter have put in the time and work it takes to succeed in the league.
Paul George just signed his extension and now yahoo sports is reporting that Cousins has signed a 4 year 62 million extension with the Kings. To give him this kind of money is a big gamble to me but the talent never was a question. Shaq as a new minority owner said that when he sees Cousins he sees a young Shaq, very talented and stubborn.
Time will tell if this was a good move or a bad move by the Kings. I kind of like it but I'm not sure if a reward like this for his behavior and actions is really good for his ego. He needs to be guided by a strong coach and I'm not sure the Kings can do this.