Every year, we have players that burst onto the scene and make themselves a household name across the nation. I have a list of a few guys that I think will fall into that category this season.
Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
Drummond is entering his second year in the NBA and had a very efficient rookie season. He only averaged 20.7 minutes a game, so let's take a look at his per 36 numbers to have a better idea of what to expect from him.
Drummond wil now be a full-time starter and is part of the new "Twin Towers" of the NBA with Greg Monroe. In eight pre-season games, Drummond has averaged 12.5 points and 12 rebounds. He posted 10+ rebounds in six of those eight games. In the last game, against Memphis, Drummond pulled down 20 boards and pitched in with 11 points.
This guy is going to be an all-star for years and will be one of the best big men in the NBA.
Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards
Another player entering his second season in the NBA, Bradley Beal opened up some eyes in his rookie year. He only played in 56 games, but averaged over 31 minutes per game. Bradley is a pure scorer. He's not great in any other statistical category. He finished the season averaging almost 14 points but only 2.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds. I believe with a full season we will see Beal average almost 20 points per game.
Eric Bledsoe - Phoenix Suns
Rumors are swirling that Goran Dragic might be dealt. With the recent trade of Marcin Gortat, the Suns might be looking to clean house. Even before hearing about Dragic possibly being traded, I had Bledsoe on this list. Bledsoe showed us what he is capable of while filling in for an injured Chris Paul last year. The Suns had mentioned that they plan on playing Dragic and Bledsoe together, and I thought that was a brilliant idea and would give the Suns an electric pairing in the back court. With or without Dragic, I see Bledsoe having his best season and showing off why he is called "Mini LeBron".
Kawhi Leonard - San Antonio Spurs
He kinda already broke out but I just wanted to put him here, in case there were some that were unaware.
Jonas Valanciunas - Toronto Raptors
Once again, a player entering his second year in the NBA. Jonas played in 62 games last year and averaged a little over 23 minutes. Like we did with Drummond, let's look at Jonas' per 36 numbers to get a better feel of what to expect from him when given more minutes.
Jonas should be seeing ample time on the court this season and will have every opportunity to shine for the lowly Raptors.
Who else do you think will have a breakout year this season? Share your thoughts in the comments or on twitter @asfarfaketeams.
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