Four NBA Players Primed For Breakout Seasons
Sean M. Haffey/Getty
NBA Players are weird for many reasons. Just yesterday, 76ers center Joel Embiid was bitten by a lion. Yes, you read that correctly, a lion. Less than a week ago, Blake Griffin was ordered to pay over $3 million every year in child support to his ex-wife. Then there's the Kawhi Leonard and Markelle Fultz debacles that happened over the course of last season. What does this have to do with potential star players in the 2018-19 season? Absolutely nothing. Let's get into it.
Murray had an excellent sophomore season with the Denver Nuggets in 2017. At 20 years old, he averaged 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal as the starting point guard in Denver. Murray has a chance to be even better offensively this season, as his career field goal percentage is only 43%, which definitely could be improved upon. With his 6-foot-6 frame, Murray was even slightly underwhelming defensively. Now, he's 21, but Murray has the potential to be an elite defensive perimeter player as well. If he is able to improve upon his jump shot as well as secure the perimeter and make switches defensively, Jamal Murray could be an All-Star at some point in his career.
Last season was a very disappointing one for Monk. Under coach Steve Clifford (and Steve Silas for about 20 games), Monk went on to only capture fourteen minutes per game, averaging seven points, two assists, one rebound on about 37% from the field. These statistics simply do not display Monk's true potential. New coach James Borrego has constantly stated that he is a believer in Monk as well as Monk's skillset. If he can come off of the bench and score in punches for the Hornets, they may eventually look at starting the electric 20-year old. As a Hornets fan, I predict Monk to average over ten points, two assists, and a rebound per game, on about 45% from the field.
Who says rookies can't be breakout players? Luka Doncic is the most pro-ready player in the 2018 NBA draft class. If Rick Carlisle can harness his skillset and make the fit alongside Dennis Smith Jr. work (like it should), the Dallas Mavericks may have an All-Star caliber player right off the bat. Doncic won Euroleague MVP at only 19 years old and is perhaps the best prospect from Europe ever. Even over Dirk Nowitzki, Darko Milicic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Ricky Rubio. With this pick along with the DeAndre Jordan signing, I fully expect the Dallas Mavericks to turn some heads during their 2018-19 campaign.
We've been waiting for the Indiana Pacers' young star Myles Turner to... well... turn the corner (bad pun, I know). Turner has been an above average center for Indiana for a while now. Ever since he was a rookie, people saw the immense amount of star-power Turner could hold one day. Last season for the Pacers, he averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and two blocks per game. Not bad for a player who is still only 22 years old. At 6-foot-11, the former lottery pick from the University of Texas is still figuring it out. Should Turner improve his efficiency, the Pacers may have their second star alongside Victor Oladipo.