De’Andre Hunter (Atlanta Hawks)
The fourth choice of the 2018 draft has not yet been able to show all his talent since injuries have slowed down his progress when he was starting to reveal himself. Returned last year, he should really get back into the rhythm this season.
His role will be important for the Hawks since he is the one who will provide the link between the interiors and the dynamic backcourt formed by Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Whether in 3 or 4 in a more mobile configuration, De’Andre Hunter will have the mission to facilitate the task of his teammates by defending hard, taking rebounds, putting three-pointers open, cutting or attacking dribbling defense in the intervals after a shift. We would not be surprised to see him have his best season in the NBA.
Robert Williams (Boston Celtics)
If his body doesn’t bother him… he should establish himself as THE hub of the Celtics in defense. Robert Williams already seemed central and indisputable during the last playoffs. His physical glitches weighed heavily on the outcome of the NBA Finals. But even if it is already important, the pivot could still turn a corner in 2023. Not only in terms of figures (the double-double seems inevitable) but above all in terms of impact.
Cam Thomas (Brooklyn Nets)
Patients who watch the Summer League have already felt the potential of the guy just after his draft. Cam Thomas was slamming boxes from his first days under the Nets tunic. He’s a pure scorer and he doesn’t do much else. However, he does it very well. The bar of 10 average pawns will be crossed even with a little playing time. He could perhaps even assert himself as one of the key men on the Brooklyn bench.
Patrick Williams (Chicago Bulls)
He is younger than De’Andre Hunter but the deal is pretty much the same. Another fourth draft pick also returns from injury. His role at the Bulls promises to be of the same type, with this notion of « linking » between the different components of the team. Patrick Williams is going to be an important member of Billy Donovan’s major five because he defends well and is more versatile than his comrades.
Now that he is in good health, he should start again on the basis of his very good rookie season in 2020-2021. With more and more responsibility and therefore playing time.
Bones Hyland (Denver Nuggets)
The future X factor of the Nuggets! He will not start in an ambitious and probably a little underestimated team. But he will have carte blanche to put the brothel out of the bench, which he was already doing rather well last year for his big debut in the league (10.1 points on average at 36% behind the arc). It will evolve in the same register with more balloons and minutes. A few boxes are to be expected for this whimsical rear who is not afraid of anything.
Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons)
And if he already passed the course to achieve star status (not necessarily « All-Star ») in his second season? The first pick of the 2021 draft was really good with the Pistons last year. He has long been in the shadow of Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes but he was ultimately not so far from the ROY trophy.
The most interesting thing is precisely the fact that his profile fits perfectly with that of the best modern players. He can assume creation for himself and for others. He can score, rebound and pass. His averages will be seriously revised upwards, around, go from 22-5-6. The Pistons may not win many games but Cade Cunningham is set to last in this league.
Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets)
Here is another who is ready to make a statistical leap. The Rockets have made room for him in the racket so that he now takes his place as a starter. It will become unstoppable. Potentially even the first bis option of this team with/behind Jalen Green. It will feint and score below.
Jonathan Kuminga (Golden State Warriors)
He has already started to show himself last season, even in the playoffs. But with the increasingly marked withdrawal of Andre Iguodala and the departure of Gary Payton Jr, Jonathan Kuminga should be called upon even more. The Warriors are counting on him and they won’t hesitate to give him playing time and responsibilities.
His athletic potential is crazy, he will have to use it to assert himself as an interesting player on five small balls for example. Or as an official stopper on certain duels. In any case, he will always be there to score in transition or on cuts. If he starts shooting, watch out for the defending champions.
Brandon Boston (Los Angeles Clippers)
The Clippers’ workforce is too deep for it to really reveal itself this season. Especially with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in front of him. But the two stars will not play every match. He would not be surprised if Brandon Boston really showed his advantage on certain sequences. Not a real explosion but a new glimpse of what he can give. The talent is there.
Quentin Grimes (New York Knicks)
The Knicks refused to let him go in exchange for Donovan Mitchell, who we imagine is to play him. Although, with the Knicks, not easy to know. In any case, Quentin Grimes is a modern rear-winger who appeals to Tom Thibodeau, who is not always fond of young players. But with defense and three-pointers, the sophomore can already help balance the New York game. He even risks scratching a place in the five if the franchise separates from Evan Fournier.
At least one Orlando Magic player
Go find out which one. Franz Wagner is the big odds after his great rookie season and his successful EuroBasket with Germany. But the Magic is full of interesting youngsters. Even a Markelle Fultz can take a step. Jalen Suggs will also be one to follow closely.
Cameron Johnson (Phoenix Suns)
With the departure of Jae Crowder and his upcoming extension, Cameron Johnson should still rise in rank at the Suns. We expect to see him follow a trajectory roughly similar to that of Mikal Bridges with progress in the game, especially with the ball in hand. More drives with still as much defense and three-pointers. Probably even a starting place to look for alongside Deandre Ayton.
Nassir Little (Portland Trail Blazers)
Assuming that the arrival of Jerami Grant does not penalize him too much… But Nassir Little is a youngster who goes under the radar despite interesting progress last year. He’s one of those 3 and Ds the Blazers need. The revelation is not far away.
Devin Vassell (San Antonio Spurs)
Rebuilding at Spurs! So with minutes and especially shoot tickets to distribute. Keldon Johnson will take a bunch after the departure of Dejounte Murray. But Devin Vassell too. He may be bombarded as an interim franchise player with the ability to inflate his stats.
Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
The best for the end ? Lauri Markkanen has long been a potential All-Star and his new start at the Jazz should allow him to show it. The Finn will be able to find his favorite position 4 while being the leader of the Mormon attack with Collin Sexton. The 20 points and 10 rebounds are within reach.