The NBA is littered with extremely talented and young players. While it take some players more than ever to fully round out their game, NBA fans can see the potential in them. In this article, we are going to breakdown who we believe are 5 players under 25 years of age who are primed to burst onto the NBA scene and become household names. Here are our “NBA Breakout Players” for 2016-17.
(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
1.DEVIN BOOKER- PHOENIX SUNS
2015-16 STATS: 13.8pts, 2.5reb, 2.6ast
ANALYSIS: The number 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft doesn’t turn 20 years-old until October 30. The former Kentucky Wildcat started his rookie season off slowly but really came on in the second half of last season.
Booker has prototype size for the SG position (6’6″) and has one of the purest shooting strokes that you will see by any player in the NBA. However, Booker is more than just a shooter. He is fearless driving to the basket, which is a great trait to have considering his age. His defense is solid, although there is room for improvement.
In a few years from now, everyone, including us, will look back on the 2015 NBA Draft and wonder why it took 13 picks for Devin Booker to be selected. It will surely be on the minds of general managers of the teams that passed on him. The future is very bright for him and the Phoenix Suns will be reaping the benefits of Booker’s talents. We see NBA All-Star appearances for him in a few years.
2.STEVEN ADAMS– OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
2015-16 STATS: 8pts, 6.7reb, 1blk
ANALYSIS: The big-man from New Zealand started his NBA career off slowly. It took the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft to find his comfort zone and last year he started to show the league what type of player he is and what he can become.
The 7 footer is as tough a player as you will find in the NBA. He is rugged, fearless, aggressive, and a player every team would love to have. His very good play towards the end of the regular season and in the playoffs is just the beginning of what he can become.
With the stunning free agent loss of superstar Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors, OKC is going to have to receive scoring from other places. While we don’t expect Adams to average 20 points per game, we feel he can score between 12-15, especially now that he is the full time Center for the Thunder.
Steven Adams is fast becoming one of the better centers in the NBA and will provide the Thunder with a defensive presence in the middle and an emerging offensive threat.
3.DENNIS SCHROEDER- ATLANTA HAWKS
2015-16 STATS: 11pts, 4.4ast, 2.6reb
ANALYSIS: The Hawks jettisoned a very good point guard in Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers to make way for Schroeder. The German born point guard is considered by many, including us, to be on his way to stardom. The 6’1″, lightning quick PG can get his shot off at any time and is an excellent play-maker.
The 17th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft reminds us of NBA veteran Rajon Rondo, except Schroeder is a better shooter. With Teague on the Hawks roster last season, Schroeder only averaged 20 minutes per game. Those numbers will go up exponentially. The Hawks are now his team and he will be running the show.
For an NBA team to have sustained success, good point guard play is a must. The Atlanta Hawks have their PG of the future and will build their team around Dennis Schroeder. We look for him to have an excellent 2016-17 season.
4.JABARI PARKER– MILWAUKEE BUCKS
2015-16 STATS: 14.1pts, 5.2reb, 1.7ast
ANALYSIS: The former number 2 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft tore his ACL in December of his rookie season. He bounced back to play in 76 games last season with 72 starts. The 6’8″ former Duke star showed glimpses of what was predicted of him when he came into the league.
Parker has the unique ability to play inside and outside. He is very good on the baseline, where he has a wide array of offensive moves. The knock on him is his outside shooting. While he shot a respectable 49% from the field last year, he only shot 26% from the 3-point line. We expect Parker to improve on both of those statistics and really break out this year.
Jabari Parker has all of the characteristics to eventually be an All-Star. While his defense and outside shooting need to improve, he has everything else that you could want in a basketball player. At only 21 years of age, his best basketball is ahead of him. We look for the former high school All-American to break out and shine in his 3rd year in the NBA.
5.VICTOR OLADIPO- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
2015-16 STATS: 16pts, 4.8reb, 3.9ast, 1.6stl
ANALYSIS: Oladipo was the number 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He wasn’t a highly recruited player, however burst onto the scene at Indiana and had a monster junior season before declaring for the draft.
Oladipo had a solid 3 years for the Orlando Magic, the team who originally drafted the combo guard. The Magic tried making him into a PG, with mixed results. The 24 year old was traded in June to the Thunder in exchange for rookie and 2016 lottery pick, Domantas Sabonis and other players.
We highly believe this move will jump-start Oladipo’s career. He will now be at his more comfortable shooting guard position. He will also have MVP candidate Russell Westbrook as his back-court mate. Pairing these 2 together has a very good chance to provide fireworks and help offset the loss of superstar Kevin Durant to the Warriors.
Entering his 4th NBA season and now paired with a star PG, we expect for Oladipo to take his game to another level. He is part of a revamped but still very talented and young Thunder roster. A lot will be expected of him, however we think he will be up for the challenge.
BOBBY PORTIS- CHICAGO BULLS
BOJAN BOGDANOVIC- BROOKLYN NETS
RODNEY HOOD- UTAH JAZZ
STANLEY JOHNSON– DETROIT PISTONS
MARCUS SMART– BOSTON CELTICS
What do you think of this list?
What players would you have added or taken off the list?
Please leave all your thought in the comment section below.