Quick Hits: Northwest Division
Quick Hits: - Predictions for each division’s best rookie, biggest bust, breakout player and MVP.
Best Rookie: Emmanuel Mudiay
*Photo via Getty Images
This is a toss up between Karl-Anthony Towns and Emmanuel Mudiay. However, with the amount of playing time as well as the supporting cast around Towns, Mudiay will have the best chance to shine as a rookie.
With the departure of Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets, Mudiay is expected to start for the Denver Nuggets and will have full reins to lead the franchise. Like any rookie there will be growing pains, but Mudiay’s ability to create for others and get to the basket is reminiscent of John Wall. If his jump shot comes along, he will be a serious threat at the point guard spot.
Biggest Bust: Al-Farouq Aminu
*Photo via Getty Images
With the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs, along with the roster overhaul, there’s plenty of uncertainty in Portland. They acquired and signed several players expected to fill these vital roles. One of these players is Al-Farouq Aminu, who signed with the Blazers for four years and $30 million dollars.
Now, Aminu is only 24 and his game has developed in leaps and bounds from his entrance in the league, yet he’s never averaged more than seven points a game, which was three years ago. Along with that, Aminu’s shot hasn’t developed as expected and is further limited offensively.
With Aminu now being a starter, the money he’s being paid will likely come back to haunt Portland. Aminu will remain a solid NBA player but in regards to his contract and role with Portland, he will be the division’s biggest bust.
Breakout Player: Andrew Wiggins
Photo via NBA.com
After a solid rookie season, expect Wiggins to make significant strides and take another step towards league domination. Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves are still a young core of players and the record will reflect that; however, he will be a year older and his knowledge from last year along with his off-season work, should allow the athletic swingman to soar to a new level of play.
Wiggins shot 43 percent from the field in his rookie campaign and averaged 16.9 points per game. A rise in his points scored will likely be right around 20 points per game as he takes on a larger role in the offense this year.
MVP: Kevin Durant
*Photo via Cleveland.com
There’s no debate on which team in this division the MVP is coming from-the who, well that depends on health. Kevin Durant is currently healthy and following his comments at Team USA camp this summer, Durant stated he was the best player in the world.
Coming off his MVP season, Durant battled injury after injury last season and was only on the court for 27 games. He is setting the stage for another MVP type season in which he’ll attempt to back up his “best in world” comment.