With the NBA season only a couple of weeks away, we take a look at the top five players who are likely to take a big leap in the 2019-20 season.
- Kelly Oubre Jr. (Phoenix Suns)
Oubre Jr. never really showed his true potential whilst at the Wizards, with his career seeming to stagnate during his four-year tenure in Washington.
But a mid-season trade to Phoenix seems to have reinvigorated the former 15th pick, as he cleared 20 points on 12 occasions for the Suns. He ended the season with averages of 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks, but given he is turning just 24 years old in December, he looks set to build on a fantastic end to his 2018-19 season.
- Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers)
The 26-year-old is entering into just his fourth season in the NBA, but has improved incrementally in each of his three previous seasons. He debuted as a double-digit scorer and was a Rookie of the Year recipient, but despite not setting the world on fire since then, a move to the Pacers may see him take his game to a whole new level.
He averaged 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists last season, but those numbers could very well be on the rise should he experience a similar change in his game like fellow Pacers’ guard Victor Oladipo.
- Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans)
Ingram is entering his fourth season in the league and will be donning new colours after he joined the Pelicans in the off-season in the Anthony Davis trade. Ingram’s season was hampered after he was diagnosed with blood clots, yet he averaged 23 points while shooting 56.5% from the field in his final 15 games of the season prior to the setback.
He appeared to coming into his own as the Lakers’ number one scoring option, but now with a fresh start at the Pelicans, if Ingram is able to go the length of the season uninterrupted by injury, then there is no doubting he could be set to explode.
- Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic)
After he was overlooked for the All Star Weekend’s Rising Star Challenge, Isaac hit a purple patch where right before that weekend, he averaged 14.5 points and 7.1 rebounds.
He was also superb towards the latter stages of the season where since February, he’s averaged 12.1 points and 9.6 field-goal attempts, all signs which point to a potential breakout season in 2019-20. The near 7-footer has the fluidity of a wing, yet the length of a centre, and as he enters his third season in the league, he could very well take the next step in an emerging Magic roster.
- Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs)
Murray had his 2018-19 season hampered by injury, after he tore his ACL in the pre-season which resulted him in missing the entire season. Murray was tipped to take a big leap last season and despite his offensive prowess not quite turning heads, his elite defence has seen his game propel to new levels as he was rewarded with a selection in the All-Defensive second team in the 2017-18 season.
He is only 22 years old and will likely be a starter for the Spurs, so the only way is up for the third year future star as he can obliterate his ceiling under the careful eye of coach Greg Popovich.