NBA fans can’t get enough of the league and its players, especially their personal favorites. Besides, even if they did, we’re guaranteed to see up-and-comers and newly-minted stars pop out every single season.
The minute you get bored by the LeBron James and the Stephen Currys of the world, the Luka Doncics and Zion Williamsons are there to keep you tuned in. Before you can even think that the new ones are getting bland, another set of young guns will grab your attention.
With social media and all, the sport is also more widespread, accessible, influential, and inspirational than ever, and it can only continue to grow, so best believe that basketball is always in good hands.
Let’s now take a peek at the potential breakout players for the 2020-21 NBA season – the kids who got next, and all geared up to join the ranks of Doncic, Williamson, and all the rising talent.
- DeAndre Hunter – Atlanta Hawks
- Thomas Bryant – Washington Wizards
- Donte Divincenzo – Milwaukee Bucks
These three are expected to be featured more than their previous seasons. Hunter struggled last season due to the Hawks’ scarcity in talent, but now that they have more pieces, he can be more loose and effective. The other two, meanwhile, are new full-time starters who have both shown solid glimpses of their potential for a couple of seasons.
Bryant has good post offense and will be the beneficiary of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook’s lobs and dump-offs; DiVincenzo will be the two-guard that will add outside shooting and hustle plays.
G, Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton will be unlike most of the guys in the list as he is already a starter and a go-to option on the Cavs’ rotation. In fact, he led the team in scoring in each of his first two seasons – I know. How come there’s very little hype? We can probably assume that playing on a lottery team with a small market played a huge part on that.
Nevertheless, Sexton is positioned to be the main scorer yet again, and this time, he’ll be surrounded with better, more diverse talent. He was averaging 24.3 points per game in his last 25 games when the 2019-20 season was halted last March.
G/F, Tyler Herro – Miami Heat
Same thing with Sexton. You can argue that Tyler Herro has already broken out given how well he showed out he made in the 2020 playoffs. It was exciting and refreshing to see a rookie be a key contributor in the NBA finals.
However, Herro’s 2020-21 campaign is bound to be better. He’s now a full-time starter and one of the team’s guards, Goran Dragic, is getting older and is coming off a plantar fascia injury.
At one point in the recent postseason, Herro put up 20.1 PPG on an eight-game stretch.
G, Coby White – Chicago Bulls
Heading into the 2019-20 campaign, the Bulls were starving for consistent offense outside Zach LaVine. They eventually got a ton through Coby White. After a hot-and-cold start, the rookie speedster suddenly exploded in late February, giving hope to the Bulls Nation.
White won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in February, and averaged a whopping 26.1 PPG in his last nine games, which was only cut off by the March hiatus.
F, Michael Porter Jr. – Denver Nuggets
Like the Bulls, the Nuggets are looking for an extra scoring punch, which they hope to be consistent and can keep up with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Third-year forward Michael Porter Jr., who ‘redshirted’ his actual rookie year due to an injury, appears to be the man for the job.
Porter Jr. has great size and can score inside and out. There’s a lot to work on, but he has the skill and opportunity to prove his abilities this season.
In the bubble’s seeding games, MPJ had a three-game stretch where he had 31.3 PPG on 62.3% shooting. He then netted 17.2 PPG and 10.3 RPG per 36 minutes in the playoffs.
F/C, Christian Wood – Houston Rockets
Christian Wood made waves for the Detroit Pistons late in the 2019-20 season, when he stepped in place of Andre Drummond, who was shipped in the trade deadline. With an Anthony Davis-like built, and a banged up Pistons team that was heavily leaning on his abilities, Wood proceeded to rack up 22.8 PPG and 9.9 RPG over his last 13 games.
Wood signed with the Rockets in the off-season to be their feature big man. He will be complemented by elite facilitators James Harden and John Wall.