NBA training camp is less than a week away. All 30 teams and NBA fans are excited for the start of the upcoming season. Fans of the Celtics, Hawks, and Raptors should be ecstatic, the players listed below are poised to have a breakout season.
OG Anunoby had a stellar rookie season for the Toronto Raptors. He started all ten games in the playoffs providing great defense at the wing position. Anunoby’s size, length, and athleticism makes him one of the most versatile young players in the league.
According to basketball-reference he shot 37% from 3 point range. During the playoffs he improved to 44% from three. He only averaged 5.9 pts. per game last season. I expect his offensive output to double this season.
His improvement from 3 and his overall offensive improvement should be impactful for the Raptors this season. If Kawhi Leonard is health and playing at a MVP level, alongside Anunoby the Raptors possess two of the best wing defenders in the league.
This season will show why him and his teammate Pascal Siakam were rumored to be off the table during trade talks with the Spurs.
Terry Rozier did more than fill in at the point guard position for the Boston Celtics. Kyrie Irving was ruled out for the rest of season with an infection in his knee. Rozier use the opportunity to step up and make a name for himself.
During the Celtics playoff run in which ended in a in game 7 lost in the eastern conference finals. Rozier earned the nickname Scary Terry. He had some big moments during the Celtics playoff run.
Rozier’s development and production last season gives the Celtics a potent weapon coming off the bench and makes them one of the deepest teams in the NBA.
If Kyrie does elect to leave and head to New York to play for Knicks Rozier would be solid replacement. If Kyrie elects to resign he becomes a valuable trade asset. Although the roster is stacked I expect Rozier to continue to improve and take his game to the next level this season.
Pascal Siakam’s development is making him the steal of the 2016 draft. The Raptors took Siakam with the 26th pick. Last season was his first full season with the franchise. He split time with Raptors and the franchises G-League affiliate the Raptors 905.
Last season he showed off an impressive offensive package. Siakam’s shooting range now stretches out to the 3 point line. His ball handling was much improved adding the ability to play make to his ever growing list of skills.
Just like his teammate OG Anunoby his size, length, and athleticism allows him to guard multiple positions on the floor. He is capable of guarding point guards when he switches on to them in the pick-n-roll.
According to basketball-reference he averaged 7.3 points per game last season but is expected to double his output this season. His role an impact is expected to be larger this upcoming season.
Taurean Prince is one of the bright spots for a rebuilding Atlanta Hawks franchise. Last season was very productive for Prince he started all 82 games and almost doubled his scoring average. According to basketball-reference he averaged 14 pts a game and his 3-point shooting was much improved.
Prince showed in his second season that he was more than just an athlete who is a versatile defender. He became someone who could put the ball on the floor and create his own shot while playmaking for others.
The NBA is loaded with versatile wing defenders and Prince has the potential to be a great wing defender. He has all the attributes that have already been listed with the two other players on this list.
Prince is a leading candidate for most improved and has a chance to be an all-star this year.
Here’s a list of players that I feel are poised for breakout years.
Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas Mavericks), De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs) Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic)