Who's next in line to be the league's breakout player?
Source: NBA.com Steve Aschburner
Anyone you feel has been left off or shouldn't be there?
Tyreke Evans, Sacramento
Who better to boost his game to a new level than someone who's doing that right now? Utah point guard Deron Williams said of most folks' top choice for 2010 ROY: "I didn't know much about him coming out of college, but the things he's been able to do on a basketball court have been amazing. He's a big guard who can do everything well."
He even gave the Kings the confidence to trade away Kevin Martin, their top scorer and anchor guy before Evans arrived. "There's a reason for that [trade]," Williams said. "It's because he [Evans] is playing so well."
Evans has averaged 20.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 37.1 minutes, which turns Michael Beasley's comment into something of an understatement. "I'd like to see him do something special,'' Beasley said, "after he's got a whole year under his belt."
Derrick Rose, Chicago
Chicago rookie Taj Gibson is biased toward another University of Memphis product. But then, he's a daily eyewitness to what Rose can do. "He's just so unselfish," Gibson said. "That's rare in a player that great. I get to work out with him every day and I see so much potential."
Rose has banged up his right knee twice this week, and he began the season hobbled by an ankle injury. In between, though, he earned an All-Star spot, has averaged 20.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists and led the Bulls to a 13-6 mark from Jan. 22 through February.
"He's so strong and he's athletic and he can score," Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings said. "He can get to the rim and he can get guys involved. I feel like what he did his rookie year was awesome. He didn't lead rookies in scoring or nothing like that. He just led his team to the playoffs. To me, I think he's a superstar in the league just because of what he did last year and also he has a chance this year to make the playoffs again."
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
Durant made a statement and gave us all a sign of things to come last year at All-Star weekend, when he dominated the Rookie Challenge game. "You could just tell that Durant was like, 'I deserve to be in the Sunday game,' " Minnesota's Kevin Love said. Going by that criterion, Durant's teammate on the Thunder is a possible blow-up selection.
Westbrook scored 40 points to help the rookies beat the sophomores, 140-128, on All-Star Friday. And in the what-have-you-done-for-us-lately department, he had 30 points and 13 assists -- keeping pace with Durant's 39 points and 10 boards -- in OKC's victory this week over Sacramento. It's the first time in NBA history two teammates age 21 or younger had 30-10 games. He had double-doubles in six of seven games before the Thunder lost at Denver Wednesday, is considered to be one of the top pure athletes (if not pure point guards) in the league and is averaging 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists.
Stephen Curry, Golden State
The Golden State rookie guard got the endorsement of no less than Chris Paul, who mentally shuffled through the likeliest suspects before landing on him. What's not to like? When Curry went for 36 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds against the Clippers last month, he became only the sixth NBA rookie to post a 35-10-10 game. The others? Jason Kidd, Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor. Nice peer group.
Curry, who had a head start on what it means to be an NBA pro (thanks to dad Dell), has combined with Monta Ellis to average 64.3 points, nearly eight more than any other starting backcourt. His numbers include 15.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.3 apg and 1.83 steals, while hitting 41 percent of his 3-pointers.
Kevin Love, Minnesota
Every starting five needs at least one big man, right? Love is our choice here for the craftiness he shows on the floor while playing in an overlap tandem with Al Jefferson. The one-and-done UCLA star has come off the Wolves' bench in 17 of his last 18, despite that team's need for rebounding. Love has grabbed 21.4 percent of rebounds available while he's been in games this season, a single-season share that -- among players age 22 or younger -- ranks behind only Dwight Howard, Danny Fortson and Mose Malone (twice). He has had 27 double-doubles and 30 games of 10 rebounds or more, has added 40 percent shooting from the arc as a wrinkle this season and, with his play overall, has thrown gas on those Jefferson trade rumors.
I believe Love is a potential #1 in the NBA. He has it all. Give him a year to learn some more post moves? Game Over man.
Someone left off the list? Andrey Blatche.
He hasn't played a game yet but I am interested to see how Blake Griffin plays. A lot of people don't realize how athletic he is.
As you can tell from my profile pick i'm going to put Eric Gordon in there with an "if". Now that "if" represents Eric Gordon realizing that the best way for him to help his team is shoot the ball and score. Looking at the numbers of Curry he took 16 more shots than Gordon over the last 5 games and averaging one more point per game. If Gordon decides to start taking over games a bit more and take those extra shots he gives up he will be a huge scorer in the NBA.
I would also really like to see Blake Griffin.
Derrick rose and or Russell Westbrook.... i dont think kevin love is gonna be that good and if the timberwolves could do the draft over they wouldnt have traded mayo
the thing about tyreke is he has the most room for improvement in that he doesnt have a reliable jumper at all
Athleticism wise... I think Griffin is a notch below the KG of 1995 and the Stoudemire of 2002, but he's still an elite level athlete at the four. I think his athleticism is very comparable to Kenyon Martin's when he entered the league.
I know it was only the pre-season, but Griffin impressed me. His motor is off the charts and his skill set is a lot better than people think. He's a much better defender than he showed at Oklahoma. After next season, I think he'll be on the breakout list.
He has a chance to be a dwyane wade type player. Hes not as wreckless as wade of course which might not be a bad thing but offensively they are very similar. But remember at the same times in their careers Evans is already lighting up the nba with a line of 20,5 and 5 while wade was just becoming a college star in his first year playing at marquette. Once evans finds a consistent jumper hell be near unstoppable but he wont even be 21 until september so he has plenty of time to figure that out.
As for Love and Curry, they are obviously both extremely talented and will be very good players but neither of them have the elite athleticism or size of a top tier player.
As for westbrook and rose theyll both be regular all stars for at least the next 10 years and will be right along with paul as the top point guards in the nba.
fester- you say "as you can tell by my profile pic, im gonna put gordon in there", no i can't tell. I don't think anyone would have any idea who that was unless you told them. Maybe time for a better pic, lol.
Back on subject, i think everyone on that list is gonna play in an all-star game. Im glad to see love and westbrook both doing more then most people expected from them.
LLPerez, I thought I was the only one LOL
If Westbrook is next, that team is scary.
obviously derrick rose... over the last 15 hes been averaging like 26 and 6...
Aren't breakout players supposed to make their team's better? If Kevin Love is the best player on a team, then that team isn't going to be any good. He is one of the better players on the Wolves, and they stink. Stephen Curry is putting up numbers, and the Warriors are awful. It is no different from when they don't play him, and someone else puts up numbers and they are pitiful. It isn't like he is going anything other than play in the Golden State system. Is Reggie Williams going to be on this list next week? Guess what, that guy can fill a stat line in that system too. Some people just get too worked up over numbers for players on losing teams. Russell Westbrook is a caddie for Kevin Durant, so I'm not overly high on him. He is nice, but in that Mo Williams playing with LeBron way.
As far as I'm concerned, Derrick Rose has already broken out. The guy is an All-Star, and has been remarkable since December. He was hurt to begin the season and started slow, but he is already easily one of the best guards in the league. Tyreke Evans is going to be an interesting guy to watch next year. He has already established he can score and create, but can he elevate the garbage around him? It will be difficult as they are a bad defensive team that is going to need their bigs to pick it up on that end.
The guy who is missing is O.J. Mayo. He can do it on both ends, and when Rudy Gay leaves this summer is going to move up in the pecking order in Memphis. I like Rudy Gay as a player, but I can also see the Grizzlies can easily be better off with O.J. Mayo having a bigger role in the offense and more Sam Young or Ronnie Brewer at the 3.
both teams, this list is about guys who can break out. So you bringing up how the wolves or warriors stink today doesn't really matter as to whether or not these guys become stars in the next year or two.
I thought the picture was clear enough, i will get a better one.
llperez22, people who have had the misfortune to Minnesota knows that Kevin Love isn't going to be a star because he can't guard a tree. It also certainly doesn't help that he has put on some weight that isn't exactly muscle. The only reason they include him is they see stats and think there is something there. Well, on a good team he would be DeJuan Blair or a heavy legged Paul Millsap. The same goes for Curry. It is ridiculous to put him in the same category as Derrick Rose. He is not, and will not, ever be close. One can elevate those around him (and did so as a rookie) the other is just another guy in Golden State.
i watch klove a lot, and i think he will be an all-star. I would say he is the best player on minnesota right now. He is hitting 40% on 3's is an amazing passer and he rebounds as well as anybody in the league. He might not block shots on defense, but he rarely makes mistakes or gets out of position. He anticipates well and is only getting better defensively. Also, he has lost weight not gained it.
As for steph, i think he can be an all-star as well. It might take time, but his shooting is obviously elite. He reads the court wel and makes good decisions as a pg that should only get better.
Besides, if you disagreed, i wouldn't have said anything since it is obviously all opinion. But i just don't understand your logic of they won't become stars because their team is not good right now. But i do agree that rose should not be on this list, he already is a star.
If you are pointing to Kevin Love's stats and thinking they mean something, then doesn't the fact that the team can't stop ANYBODY matters as well. Doesn't the fact that they are so bad that Dallas would just choose to let Jason Kidd rest because they know that they don't really need their full arsenal to beat them. Am I wrong to think that if NBA coaches regarded Love as having star potential that they wouldn't dismiss games with Minnesota in quite the same way?
The thing about the article is it doesn't say what he determines a break-out player. I'm sure my opinion of a great player is not the same as all of yours.
I knew who it was in your last picture lol. That was EJ in a game vs New Jersey last year. He ran a backdoor on Devin Harris and Baron through him the alley oop... He missed that though lol.
both teams, i never said love was a star right now. I said he is very good and should ebcome a star. You keep bringing up how they are doing right now as a team like that proves a guy who is 20 years old can't become a star. And you can't honeslty say that if love was regarded as a future star, then the woves would be more feared today. That whole teams sucks. No jefferson in the dallas game and corey brewer, wayne ellington and ryan gomes are the wings with a rookie pg and ryan hollins and darko as the bigs all around klove. i don'ty think teams beating that team is indicative of how good love is or can become.
Kevin Love is one heck of a player and I can see him being an all-star if he keeps developing his defense and post game. He is the best outlet passer in the game and his rebounding instincts are off the charts.
He is still very young.
Their teams do suck but their in the NBA and play against elite level players. So what a guy comes from the D league and plays good for them. If the completely suck they would not be getting called up. Given the opportunity I lot of players would shine from the D league. Yes the system helps but not to the point where Brian Cardinal would come in and put up 20 points a game.
If you watch the payers and their skill set you would know Curry is nice and IMO with his stroke and craftiness he will make a few all star games. Westbrook is a beast in his own right when he becomes completely masters the art of playing pg he will be in discussion for top pg in the NBA. Love is a rebounding machine and a smart player take him off Minny and put him on a winning team he will look better cuz he plays winning basketball.
I like Love, but I don't see him as a potential star. Yes, he could make an All-Star team one day, but I just don't see him as being the best player on a championship caliber team. IF he's the best player on your team, then you have a problem. I don't see him as a go to player.
He has great intangibles and will be a very good player, but I don't see how anybody could put him on this list.
I'm not saying a 20-year old can't become a star, but that just because a guy puts up numbers on a bad team that there is somehow star potential there. The weight is a problem, the defense is a problem, and the lack of length and lift is a problem. Those are three major reasons why he won't be a star. I'm sure if Michael Beasley was in Minnesota, he could put up monster numbers too. Would that be any more indicative than the fact that his coach doesn't trust him at all the 4th quarter of close games? In Minnesota, he wouldn't have to worry because they are down 20 every game. If Love was on a decent team, his role would be lessened. He'd be what Blair is to the Spurs or Millsap is to Utah, and neither of those guys are stars or have star potential.
tezo, and that's fine. I would have no problem with someone saying they don't see love being a star player. It's far from a sure thing and to each their own on that one. My arguing with both teams is due to his reasoning behind love not being a star saying that the wolves not winning right now and being a good team is not a very valid reason as to why he can't become an all-star in the future. Otherwise, if we based guys who were in their first or second year strictly on team success, then i guess garnett, rondo, arenas and others should not have become stars.
both teams, i never said anything about his stats other then the 40% shooting wich has nothing to do with how good his team is. And again, if you don't think he will be a star, that's all good. But your first argument was basically calling out love and curry becasue their teams aren't wining games, and that was all i was getting at.
If you are an All-Star then you are a star in my opinion, it is in the title. I agree that he probably won't ever be the main guy on a championship team but a lot of guys that are considered stars aren't the main guy on teams or hall of fame players.
I guess it comes down to everyones' opinion of a star.
yeah, i agree with that daneboy. I don't think he will be a superstar number 1 option or anything. BUt that doesn't mean he is'nt a star if he puts up 20-12 and makes all-star games. I guess it depends on what your defenition of "star" is.
Dale Davis made an All-Star team once... Was he a star? What about Illgauskas or Rik Smits? Andre Kirilenko made a couple of All-Star teams. He's never been a star.
On the other end... Deron Williams has been a star and one of the best point guards in the game for many years, but just became an All-Star this season.
im not talking about if he makes one or saying one makes you a star. Im saying he will be a star by making a couple all-star games and being a candidate year in and year out and being a very good player as maybe a second option. Just bringing up the worst guys to make one all-star team doesn't prove anything.
If Kevin Love averages 20 and 12, then that team won't be any good. On a playoff caliber/championship team, I think Kevin Love is at max... A 12-15 point and 8-10 rebound player.
No... I was responding to DaneBoy that just because you make an All-Star team doesn't mean you're a star. You're a star when you make them year in and year out. There are many players in the league that can have a great season and make the All-Star team.
klove is getting like 11 rebounds a game in 30 minutes right now, but you dont think he can do that on a contender? I guess we just disagree on how good he will become then.
He's getting 11 rebounds per game on one of the worst teams in the league.
I mean, 11 rebounds on a playoff caliber team isn't out of the question. He's a great rebounder. I just don't see him as a star or 20 point scorer, go-to player or second option. "The weight is a problem, the defense is a problem, and the lack of length and lift is a problem. Those are three major reasons why he won't be a star." I can agree with that statement.
If he's averaging 20 and 12 on any team, I don't think that team will be any good. Kevin Love as the first or second best player on any team doesn't spell success to me.
It is funny how the knock on Rose, Evans, and Westbrook is they dont have a jumper but they have a chance to be great and yet you can't say the same for Curry who has a Jumper can get aroudn 2 stills has gotten a triple double and can only get better and he is already shooting 41 percent for 3 point range this season. It is not his fault GSW drafted him and they suck. Maybe when Minny figures out what they want to do Love can be in a better position to show more but until then he will have limited stats.
I can understand what BothTeamsPlayedHard is saying though... How can you take the numbers Curry is putting up on the Warriors, an awful team, and say he has star potential? Or put him in the same breath as Derrick Rose? I've seen CJ Watson light it up in that offense too.
I do think Curry can be a point guard in the Steve Nash mold, but I understand the logic in what he's saying. If you were to put Michael Beasley on the Warriors... People wouldn't be saying he shouldn't have been picked 2nd.
I was actually gonna say Chris Douglas-Roberts, but the argument of a good player on a bad team is valid, and his future with Jersey is in doubt (thank you, Mr. Jesus). I'm still waiting for the 20 P.P.G scorer in Michael Beasley to emerge. Can anyone who's watched Beasley consistently this year tell me exactly what he needs to work on?
If he played better defense, which is something they don't care about on the Warriors, he'd play more minutes... Especially in the fourth quarter and during crunch time.
I think the problem is he's in between positions. He's not big enough to play in the post and doesn't have enough lateral quickness to play on the perimeter. I think he's lost confidence too.
I know the Nets blow but I really think Lopez is gonna break through next year. This year he's putting up 19 PPG, 9 RPG and 2 BPG while shooting 513% from the field and 813% from the line, terrific numbers for a 21 year old center and next year I think he'll do even better.
I expect at least a 20/10 season from him next year and if the Nets can add a few pieces in the offseason and improve as a team I think he'll get all star honors.
I like the Lopez call, he is getting better with each game. The thing that gets me is if his game is so effective why hasn't in translated in to more wins? I know his team isn't great but there are teams with worse overall talent in the NBA winning. Someone like Danny Granger or the Sac-Town Kevin Martin would have loved to play with Harris and Yi.
Look out for Maureese Speights next season. He should breakout next season for Philly..
Wow with the Kevin Love hate!
To be honest, I really didnt have a high opinion of the guy before this year. I've seen him play this year and my opinions have changed alot. The guy is a really solid player. Is he going to be a 25 ppg guy...no. Is he going to be a physically imposing defender? No. Is he going to be a highlight reel with thunderous dunks and Dwight Howard esque swats? No. But think about it...do those things win championships? No. I'm not saying Love is going to win alot of championships or any for that matter. But I think people take pure athleticism and blow it way out of proportion in terms of overall value.
The truth is...every single team in the NBA would love to have Love on their roster right now. He is a very solid passer, he can knock down mid range jump shots, he rebounds his area as well as anybody in the league, he sets screens. Ask any NBA player who on the TWolves they would want to play with...They would say Love.
No he isnt going to be a number 1 option on a championship team, but neither are any of those players on that list. Not one of them outside of Tyreke Evans will be a number 1 option on a championship caliber team.
An argument can be made that players who put up numbers on bad teams actually have to do more work and would benefit from better players around them. If Love had wings who could create a shot for themselves or hit a jumpshot, his numbers would look even better. Players dont look better when bad players are around them...they look good when good players are around them. Anybody who actually has a lick of basketball knowledge knows that.
So quit with the K Love hate Rasheed Wallace guy...he is a fantastic role player who would do perfectly fine on any team.
I agree with all except Kevin Love he's been just a lil above average from what I've seen.
Some had him pegged as a bust so he must be playing really well of late.
I like his rebounding, passing and ability to hit jump shots.
Him hitting 30 3 point shots doesn't really mean adept at 3's yet.
It would be nice to see him develop and Minnesota getting a draft pick rite which is rare.