The Next Generation of All-Stars
A look at the next group of NBA All-Stars.
Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and all of the Timberwolves
I'm extremely high on the combination of KAT, Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Shabazz Muhammad. Now under the helm of Tom Thibodeau, expect the obvious, and see this team defend like madmen. Mixed with athleticism, skill, ability and talent, how can one not feel as though these ‘Young Wolves’ are on the verge of taking over the NBA. With back to back Rookie of the Year winners, and a potential 3rd in Kris Dunn, this team has all the tools to take it to another level and give them a few years and you might even see a championship. Basketball lovers can only hope they remain intact and focused, unlike the Clippers of 2001 and play the right way like the Pistons of 2004.
Speaking of the Pistons, Reggie Jackson holds immense value to Detroit. Maybe even undervalued to some. Yes Drummond is the guy, but when the game is on the line who is the shot going to? Reggie. His assists were down last season as he elevated his scoring and free throws, however he still averaged 6 per game along with 18.8 points. Let's not forget the tear he went on after being traded from OKC, averaging a near double-double with 17.6 points per game and 9.2 assists per game. Don't sleep on this guy, he will be an all-star sooner than we think.
What's not to love about Jabari, great head on his shoulders, leader, standout at Duke and worked his butt off to come back from a devastating injury. He's the model player that endorsement companies look for in an athlete off the court. One of the key components to the young Milwaukee Bucks nucleus, it's a matter of time that he will break out into stardom.
Even in a losing effort, his dunk contest performance elevated his status as potential face of the franchise. Now with the addition of Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo prepare for a log jam at the 4 spot that seemed to be a lock for Gordon. With expectations that he will play small forward at times, we will see if that position fits his game or his Gordon can show another side that we haven't seen. I can't call it, however I do know that Gordon has talent and if the Magic are smart they should focus on youth and play through him.
We finally get to see Joel Embiid. If you are like me, you are hoping he will be as entertaining on the court as he is on Twitter. Primed to be a focal part of the offense with Ben Simmons assumed to be out for the season, I expect Embiid to make an immediate impact. The 76ers have 3 big men who can all do different things, but I think with living up to potential, Embiid is the one who will shine the brightest. Whether it be with Philly or another team, Joel is almost a lock to be a star and future leader in the NBA
The unicorn. The enigma. The Porzingod.
The writing us on the wall as to who is the future of the Knicks. KP has what it takes to be a perennial all-star. The size is unmatched, the range is almost Steph Curry like, and the raw talent is ready to be molded. The only thing holding back Porzingis is himself. He has to become more aggressive on the floor and demand the ball more. A player that tall with his shooting touch should get at least 15 shots a game. The ability to rebound, defend and shoot free throws may not be a favorite of fans but it certainly gets noticed by coaches. Even if he doesn't get fan votes, the runner-up for Rookie of the Year will surely get love from the coach.
Right across the Brooklyn Bridge lies a young forward who has no choice but to step up for the Brooklyn Nets. By process of elimination, the Nets have no one else to turn to. Outside of Brook Lopez and a possible return of Linsanity fans are praying for, this team is bad. But with bad teams there is always a silver lining, somebody has to step up. I look to Hollis-Jefferson. He's young, hungry and will be getting enough touches and opportunity. All it takes is one breakout season and he will elevate to all star-potential.
The signs were there when he was drafted. Now with Jeff Teague shipped to Indiana, it's sink or swim time for Schröder. There were flashes last season but his growth has always been stifled by Teague. I think he has what it takes to make that jump. The opening is there in this point guard driven league. With defenses focused on Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap I see the opportunity, it's just his for the taking.
It was sad to see Dwyane Wade not re-signed by Miami. He meant so much to this franchise. He meant a lot for Justice Winslow as well. A mentor and leader, he helped give the rookie the ins and outs, and what a great person to learn from. Now in his second year, it's time for him to fly on his own. Coming from Coach K and Duke Winslow has a great foundation and also has the athleticism and basketball IQ for it.
I'm a huge fan of Devin Booker and his potential. He knows how to put the ball in the hoop and has the ability to light up the scoreboard every night. The young Phoenix Suns are in rebuild mode and Booker has potential to be the standout of the group. I think he can be a consistent scorer and future 20+ point per game player. He can not only shoot 3s, he can put the ball on the floor, drive and finish. Give him some time and he will blossom into all-star form.