Hot Takes: Three Players Primed for a Breakout Season

These three players should be in favorable positions for this upcoming season. These players have landed in a better place for their play style and they should be in a position to breakout next year. They were decent last year, but they should be able to take the leap, and hopefully become even better this season. Let’s get into it!

Lonzo Ball- New Orleans Pelicans

Something that has always plagued Lonzo Ball was injuries. In his first two seasons in the NBA, he has played a total of only 99 games. It has really hurt his image because a lot of casual NBA fans believe that he is a bust. In my opinion, Lonzo is just getting started. He has established himself as one of the NBA’s scariest perimeter defenders. He’s quick and stays in front of his man very well, add that into his size and length, and you have a recipe for a great defender. He should be one of the NBA’s top point guards eventually. His play making ability should be a huge asset for the New Orleans Pelicans.

If we take a look at the situation he will be in next season, Lonzo should definitely start. He and Jrue Holiday should create a very scary defensive duo. A healthy Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes should be a great interior defense. This Pelicans team should be able to run up and down the floor with ease, as well as score on the fast break with Zion and Lonzo leading the charge. I think Lonzo definitely needs to sink more of his three pointers to become an even scarier offensive option. But for now, his play making and defense should make him one of the best young point guards in the association.

Willie Cauley-Stein- Golden State Warriors

Willie Cauley-Stein has been in the NBA for four seasons now. He has always been a fairly consistent player throughout his career. He is known as a lob-catching big man that is a decent rebounder and a decent defender. WCS chose to take his talents to another California team, the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors signed him and they were also able to nab D’Angelo Russell this offseason. Something that D-Lo thrives in, is the pick and roll, Stephen Curry is also a very good pick and roll player as well. D-Lo actually ran the pick and roll almost as much as the Warriors combined. He ran 920 pick and rolls, compared to the Warriors 995. This should be perfect for WCS because of his lob-catching ability. Draymond’s lob passes should also be perfect for the big man as well. The Warriors were also fourth in fast break points per game with 16.3 points a game last season. This suits WCS very well and the Warriors should be a great place for the big man to get his career back on track.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander- Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder made arguably one of the most surprising moves of the offseason. Trading their two stars, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. In the Los Angeles Clippers trade, they were able to land Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and SEVEN first round picks, with two of them being pick swaps, and one is lottery protected. This was an insane move that almost no one saw coming. I figured Russ would be traded, but I didn’t think Paul George would be on the move too. I give a lot of credit to the Oklahoma City Thunder though, they really got the most for PG. For Russ, the thunder were able to get Chris Paul (who should be moved before the start of next season) and four more first round picks with two being pick swaps once again. The most notable acquisition for the Thunder was Shai because he is a young point guard coming off a great rookie season. He played on a Clippers team that wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs, he was their starting point guard for most of the season.

Shai was able to score 10.8 points a game where he shot 47.6% from the field and he was able to dish out 3.3 assists a game. These numbers may not be the greatest, but he scored in double digits and he also shot a great percentage from the field. Thunder fans should be very excited for this young guard. He should be a center-piece for the Thunder going forward. Shai offers a lengthy guard that can play the point guard, shooting guard, and if needed, he can also play the small forward position. This Canadian point guard should be a great starting point guard for years to come.

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