MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 7: Andre Roberson (L) of Oklahoma City Thunder in action against Caris LeVert (R) of Brooklyn Nets during a NBA regular season game between Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma Thunder at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico on December 7, 2017. (Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The 2018-19 NBA season is already looking bleak and forgettable with the additions the Golden State Warriors have made to their already loaded roster. The Warriors appear to have one more season on their belt where the roster will stay together before the inevitable. The roster will probably fall apart. Still, we want to find bright spots in the season ahead, and find the little things to enjoy. Here are four players who should break out and play better then expected.

Who will break out in NBA 2018-19 Season

SG Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets

Caris LeVert hasn’t quite made a name for himself just yet, but this season should be his breakout year. LeVert has just the aging Allen Crabbe to beat out to become a starter, and with the state that Brooklyn is in, that shouldn’t be too hard. He enters his third season in the NBA, selected as the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Last season, he appeared in 71 games for the Nets, and averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 assists per game. He’s not a horrible defender either, collecting 82 steals last season.

The best thing to watch about LeVert is his quickness and athleticism. He has the ability to really break some ankles, get around defenders and then at 6’7″ and 203 pounds, he’s long and athletic enough to dunk. He can get hot from deep, and has a very nasty mid range shooter. LeVert could come close to averaging 20 points per game if people aren’t careful.

PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Los Angeles Clippers

The rookie from Kentucky, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, doesn’t have the limitless range that a lot of people like to see in a point guard in the modern NBA. That didn’t stop him at Kentucky, however, as he averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Clippers took him with the 11th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, and he didn’t disappoint in Summer League action. Shai has Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley on the depth chart in front of him currently, but Teodosic can easily get beat out. Los Angeles is going to want scorers coming off of the bench, and Shai can give them just that.

He’s longer then most point guards, standing at 6’6″ and possessing a wingspan of 6’11”. With his length and athleticism, he owns a wicked mid range game and can drive to the basket better then most players in the game. He has an arsenal of moves and has the quickness to capitalize off of a defenders mistake. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shai win 2nd Team All-Rookie this season coming off of the bench.

PF Moritz Wagner, Los Angeles Lakers

Another Los Angeles rookie makes this list and for good reason. Moritz Wagner has JaVale McGee and Kyle Kuzma to compete for playing time with, and Wagner will capitalize off of it. He was the 28th overall pick in the NBA Draft, after spending a full three seasons at the University of Michigan. Last season, he led the Wolverines to a National Title appearance and was named to the All-Tournament team. He averaged 14.6 points and 7 rebounds per game last season through 38 games.

Wagner’s game is offensive rebounding. He possesses an elite level strength as a put-back master, collecting a lot of second chance points. He is tenacious and doesn’t give up, making him difficult to guard on offense. Because he’s so tall (6’10”), his deep range game becomes effective and his mid range is better then most. Wagner is going to see the floor a lot in 2018-19, and he has the energy and drive to make the most of it.

SG Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks

The hero of the National Championship game, Donte DiVincenzo was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Another three year college player, DiVincenzo was actually a sixth man at Villanova who made a huge impression during the tournament. He, also, was named All-Tournament, and was the Championship games MVP. He averaged 13.4 points per game last season and shot 40% from deep. He brings Milwaukee valuable minutes and can easily become a sixth man by the end of this season.


DiVincenzo has a skillset much like Golden State’s Klay Thompson. He brings a deep range ability to the game and plays stifling defense. Mikwaukee will use him on the floor, probably paired with Malcolm Brogdon, to light up the scoreboard late in games. Don’t be surprised if he averages 10 points per game this season.

 

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