With the NBA season approaching quickly teams will come out ready to go. Each season teams will have players they know will be there go-to guys and players that will fill into there respective roles. But every year teams will have players that out perform what people expected for them. Here is each team’s breakout player for the 2019-2020 season.
Player: DeAndre’ Bembry
Last Season Stats: 8.4 ppg, 2.5 ast, 4.4 rebs
Bembry does a little bit of everything for the Hawks and I believe this will be the season he will take the next step in his development. Coming out of St. Joe’s he was known as someone who can do everything. So far he has done it and will bring it to a new level this season.
Player: Jaylen Brown
Last Season Stats: 13 ppg, 1.4 ast, 4.2 rebs
The former Cal standout is entering a contract year where he will be looking to make serious money this off-season. He will get more opportunities I believe this season as a possible small ball four. Based on past history players tend to play better when they are on a contract year. I expect the same for Brown.
Player: Taurean Prince
Last Season Stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.6 rebs, 2.1 ast (Atlanta)
Coming over from Atlanta this summer via trade, Prince will have all the opportunities he wants with the absence of Kevin Durant at the Small Forward it will allow Prince to get more shots than expected. He will also get more open shots with the cast that Brooklyn has versus what he had in Atlanta.
Player: Dwayne Bacon
Last Season Stats: 7.3 ppg, 2.1 rebs, 1.1 ast
With Kemba Walker darting for Boston this summer, the Hornets will rely mostly on their young core. I expect a big season for Dwayne Bacon. He is slotted to be the opening day two guard and I believe will get significant opportunities this season. He improved his shooting percentage last season and I believe that will continue. I expect Bacon to have a huge season.
Player: Wendell Carter Jr.
Last Season Stats: 10.3 ppg, 7 rebs, 1.3 blks
Carter Jr. had an up and down rookie season that consisted with a lot of time on the sidelines with injuries. With a year under the belt for Carter I believe he will make the leap to becoming a better player and establish the Bulls as a serious playoff contender. Carter Jr. will be a key piece to the Bulls having a big year.
Player: Cedi Osman
Last Season Stats: 13 ppg, 4.7 rebs, 2.6 ast
Osman is a very skilled young player who had significant improvement last season in a bigger role. I expect the same to happen this season under Coach John Beilein who in past at Michigan had success with bigger ball handling guards like Osman. A big season for Osman is on the horizon as I expect a bigger role this season.
Player: Justin Jackson
Last Season Stats: 8.2 ppg, 2.3 rebs, 1 ast (29 Games w/Dallas)
Jackson’s numbers improved after getting trade from Sacramento. With limited depth at the three for Dallas I expect more playing time for Jackson who is still trying to find his way in the league. It is a make or break year for Jackson who has really struggled so far in his career to find consistent minutes.
Player: Malik Beasley
Last Season Stats: 11.3 ppg, 2.5 rebs, 1.2 ast
Beasley will have more opportunities this year in Denver and if not I believe he will be a key piece in trade discussions. Beasley might have a bigger impact this season on a different team but I still believe that he will have a huge season no matter what team he plays for.
Player: Luke Kennard
Last Season Stats: 9.7 ppg, 2.9 rebs, 1.8 ast
Detroit is expecting to have a huge season this year. If they want to have a big year it’s going to be thanks to the development of Luke Kennard. He will have a more prominent role this year and will be one of the few Pistons who can stretch the floor. Big things should come for Kennard.
Golden State Warriors
Player: Willie Cauley-Stein
Last Season Stats: 11.9 ppg, 8.4 rebs, 2.4 ast
I think that Cauley-Stein will increase his play around a more veteran team that knows how to win. He will also benefit from being around a steady environment for this first time in his career. Golden State will know how to utilize Cauley-Stein properly.
Player: Ben McLemore
Last Season Stats: 3.9 ppg, .9 rebs, .2 ast
Once a prized prospect, McLemore has had a rocky career so far and has not find his place in the NBA. But I believe that this will be his year. On a team with limited cap room they took a flyer with McLemore and I don’t think he will blow this chance.
Player: Aaron Holiday
Last Season Stats: 5.9 ppg, 1.3 rebs, 1.7 ast
Holiday will be the backup point guard for the Pacers and will significant increase in playing time. He played well last season in spot minutes and with his brother on the team this year maybe will help Aaron navigate through the NBA season better. Holiday will make the big second year leap this season.
Los Angles Clippers
Player: Landry Shamet
Last Season Stats: 9.1 ppg, 2.2 rebs, 2.3 ast
With so much star power on the Clippers after this crazy summer, they will draw a lot of attention on the court. Shamet will have a lot of open looks on this team and will be able to capitalize on the opportunities he will get. Expect big things to come for Shamet.
Los Angles Lakers
Player: Alex Caruso
Last Season Stats: 9.2 ppg, 2.7 rebs, 3.1 ast
Caruso was probably one of the most talked about players this summer as a meme. But he is more than a meme, when he got the opportunity last year towards at the end of the season he really capitalized. Caruso can be a key part of the Lakers bench success this season.
Player: Grayson Allen
Last Season Stats: 5.6 ppg, .6 rebs, .7 ast
Allen will benefit from the trade this summer. There was not much opportunity in Utah who needed players to contribute right away, which Allen was not ready to do. The Grizzlies will be a better place for Allen to develop his game with more playing time. Better things are to come for Allen.
Player: Bam Adebayo
Last Season Stats: 8.9 ppg, 7.3 rebs, 2.2 ast
Bigger role for Bam this year with the departure of Whiteside. Bam has approved every season and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. I think Bam will be a great number two this season to Jimmy Butler. Look out for Bam possibly being in the All-Star discussion this season.
Player: Donte DiVincenzo
Last Season Stats: 4.9 ppg, 2.4 rebs, 1.1 ast
DiVincenzo had a very underwhelming rookie season. He struggled with injuries and getting consistent playing time once he recovered. With no Malcolm Brogdon on the roster that leaves a lot of playing time open. Don’t be surprised if DiVincenzo has a big sophomore season.
Player: Josh Okogie
Last Season Stats: 7.7 ppg, 2.9 rebs, 1.2 ast
After coming off a strong rookie season I expect more improvement to come for Okogie. I think he knows his role better coming into his second season and will have a bigger offensive role. Okogie is a lock down defender who will have a chance to make one of the All-Defensive teams.
New Orleans Pelicians
Player: Lonzo Ball
Last Season Stats: 9.9 ppg, 5.3 rebs, 5.4 ast
A fresh start for Lonzo Ball is what he needed. He will be around a solid young core where he will be the primary ball handler, which was not the case in LA. Ball will run the show in New Orleans, it will be an exciting season for the young Pelicans.
New York Knicks
Player: Dennis Smith Jr.
Last Season Stats: 14.7 ppg, 2.8 rebs, 5.4 ast (21 games w/Knicks)
After coming over from Dallas, Smith put up better numbers. The Knicks will actually try to win this season which means they will probably play Smith more. Knicks staff has invested a lot of time this summer working with Smith and see big things to come for him this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Player: Hamidou Diallo
Last Season Stats: 3.7 ppg, 1.9 rebs, .3 ast
It’s going to be a yard sale at some point in Oklahoma, as they try and rebuild. Diallo will be one of the few players on the roster who will get significant playing time and who will not be dealt. Diallo is young and athletic and has all the potential in the world.
Player: Markelle Fultz
Last Season Stats: 8.2 ppg, 3.7 rebs, 3.1 ast (18 games in 2018)
Fultz will finally be able to play in a pressure free situation in Orlando. He will be able to start the season off the bench, I think his play will grow throughout and eventually will become a starter. Fultz will showcase to people why he was the number one pick only a few years ago.
Player: Josh Richardson
Last Season Stats: 16.6 ppg, 3.6 rebs, 4.1 ast
His numbers might go down but he will have a breakout year on being on a better team. His presence will be much more of an impact for this 76ers team. His numbers won’t be what makes Richardson a breakout candidate. But I do expect Richardson to have better season.
Player: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Last Season Stats: 16.9 ppg, 4.9 rebs, 1.6 ast (40 games w/Phoenix)
Phoenix decided to trade TJ Warren on draft night to free up more opportunities for some of their younger wings. One of them in particular is Oubre Jr. Who after coming over from Washington last year really flourished. Oubre Jr. can make the next step this season and maybe become a number two option to Booker.
Portland Trail Blazers
Player: Anfernee Simons
Last Season Stats: 3.8 ppg, .7 rebs, .7 ast
Simons did not see a lot of time as a rookie, but after an off-season that saw a lot of change to the Trail Blazers core it looks like there will be significant playing time available for Simons. He showed flashes of being a great scoring option off the bench. This could be Simons role for this season, which I believe he will flourish in.
Player: Marvin Bagley III
Last Season Stats: 14.9 ppg, 7.6 rebs, 1 ast
With Luke Walton as the new coach for the Kings, expect them to run up and down the floor a lot more. This will benefit Bagley heavily as a young player who move very well. The Kings had some departures in the front court Bagley will run the show down low. Bagley will be a great one two punch with Fox.
San Antonio Spurs
Player: Dejounte Murray
Last Season Stats (2017): 8.1 ppg, 5.7 rebs, 2.9 ast
After not playing all last season with an injury Murray is ready to have the breakout season he was suppose to have last season. Murray will add to the Spurs roster which I think will be very hard to deal with this season. Murray still a young player with a lot of room to grow. I think he will make the leap he was suppose to make last season.
Player: OG Anunoby
Last Season Stats: 7 ppg, 2.9 rebs, .7 ast
Anunoby will have more responsibilities this season after losing Kawhi Leonard in the off-season. Not yet the great offensive player Anunoby will showcase his worth on the defensive end with the addition of a better offensive game with him getting more shots this year.
Player: Royce O’Neale
Last Season Stats: 5.2 ppg, 3.5 rebs, 1.5 ast
Royce has begun to establish his role as a solid defender in the NBA. This year he will make the leap offensively, and become a statement on this Utah Jazz team. O’Neale will be a problem for offensive players this season, I expect him to have a season similar to what PJ Tucker had when he broke out with the Suns.
Player: Moritz Wagner
Last Season Stats: 4.8 ppg, 2 rebs, .6 ast
A lot of turnover in Washington means a lot of opportunity. Wagner will have an opportunity to start and be able to get shots for the Wizards. A skilled big man, Wagner will be able to showcase his skills this season as a very capable offensive player. His numbers will improve in Wagner’s second season.