The NBA is about to start and people wonder which second-year player will have a breakthrough. The answer is not as easy as it seems, because the league is plenty of young rising talent. However, as the new season approaches, there are some players who have to live up to the expectations. Based on the performances they made in their first year, here’s the list of the top five NBA sophomores who will show up in the 2018-19 season:
Top Five NBA Sophomores Who Will Improve in the 2018-2019 Season
The Utah Jazz‘s 21-year-old prodigy is called up to become an All-Star caliber player, and he proved so last season. Donovan Mitchell averaged 20.4 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in his first year to lead Utah to the Western Conference semifinals. In addition, Mitchell’s succeed was a surprise for everyone, it was unthinkable he will show up as good as he did. Seeing that Utah’s star is on his way to becoming one of the best in the game, the West will be tougher this year with the Jazz prowling.
2. Ben Simmons
The NBA 2017-18 Rookie of the year is ready to take off this season. Ben Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 boards, and 8.2 dishes last year while shooting 54.5% from the field for the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the 22-year-old man has still something to improve: his three-point range. Simmons shot 0% from beyond the line last season, a poor number for a Forwards. “I want to be an All-Star”, Simmons said to Fox Sports Australia, and he clearly has the skills to make it. The Australian born has an advantage, teaming up with “The Process”, Joel Embiid, who will help him a lot of more. The 76ers projections are to reach the Eastern Conference finals this season.
3. Jayson Tatum
Many situations forced Tatum to grew up really fast. Jayson Tatum was a key part in the Boston Celtics‘ run last season, indeed, before the begin of the last season all was set for him to coming off the bench, but eventually, he became a starter since day one due to Gordon Hayward season-ending fracture. At 20 years of age, Tatum has a bright future ahead even though he has to play a full season with Hayward. Celtics young gem left some interesting numbers last season, 13.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and an impressive 43.4% from downtown. What’s even more fascinating is the fact he averaged 18.5 points in the playoff, where he went one game short to play the finals.
4. Kyle Kuzma
The Los Angeles Lakers‘ most underestimated player before last season did not really struggle to show what he’s capable to do. While everyone was looking at Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma was making his own business and the results were sweet for the Lakers though they missed the postseason. To summarize his performance, Kuzma was the one who led a disoriented Los Angeles in the hard West averaging 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds, the best among the rookies. Kuzma has a real chance to play in the All-Star game in the future and as a result, he can become the face of the franchise soon.
5. Dennis Smith Jr.
The Dallas Mavericks put their trust in this athletic man that sooner or later might be an All-Star. Dennis Smith Jr. averaged 15.1 PPG, 5.2 APG last season, nevertheless, what makes him more valuable is his athleticism ability. At this instant, where Dirk Nowitzki is probably facing his last year in the NBA, the Mavericks need other franchise player and guess what, Dennis is the chosen one. He still has to improve but the talent is there waiting for a step forward.
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