• Brett Carroll

Quick Hits: Atlantic Division

Quick Hits: Predictions for each division’s best rookie, biggest bust, breakout player and MVP.

Best Rookie: Jahlil Okafor

*Photo via Getty Images

I think this is going to be a tight race. I wanted to go with Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, but I’m going to stick with Jahlil Okafor because he will get a lot of playing time, and will be a bigger factor in the Philadelphia 76ers offense. Porzingis might get the nod if he plays really well, but I doubt it.

Biggest Bust: Kristaps Porzingis

*Photo via Getty Images

Porzingis has talent, but I think unless he has an amazing (and I mean AMAZING) year, he’ll be the biggest bust. Out of all the new players coming in this year (rookies, free agents, etc.), he will be asked to contribute the most, with the least amount of talent to earn his keep. For example, DeMarre Carroll will be asked to contribute more on the Raptors than Porzingis will be asked to help the Knicks, but I think Carroll will be able to play well enough to live up to his expectations. Porzingis will most likely fail to meet the demand the Knicks (and their fans) have for him.

Breakout Player: DeMar DeRozan

*Photo via Getty Images

DeMarre Carroll was a breakout player last year in Atlanta, and I think his presence in Toronto will make DeRozan’s job that much easier. He had a slight let down season last year, after a really good 2013-14 campaign. In order for the Raptors to take the next step as a team, DeRozan must take the reins from Kyle Lowry as the team’s best player and become an All-NBA caliber guard.

MVP: DeMar DeRozan

*Photo via Canadian Press

I wanted to go with Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets or Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks, but neither one look like playoff teams, so I’ll disqualify them. I just mentioned the type of season DeRozan could (and should) have this year for the Raptors. Carroll’s presence on the team is going to really help both DeRozan and Lowry this year, and I expect DeRozan to take advantage of the opportunity and take his game to the next level.

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