PAUL GEORGE, Indiana Pacers
Paul George, the high-flying swingman from Fresno State, electrified the league last year with his impressive mixture of size, athleticism and stellar defensive instincts. George saw his minutes jump to just under 30 a game and his production increased across nearly every statistical category. When his minutes increase again this coming year, expect his numbers to make another significant leap. With a usage rate below 20 last season, he scored a decent 12 points a game on less than 10 shots – but a lot of his contributions came on the defensive end of the floor. Among shooting guards, he ranked third in steals, second in total rebounding rate, and seventh in PER.
George’s ability to guard multiple positions will get him plenty of run on a Pacers team with aspirations to be a contender in the East. There is no question he has the tools to be an elite wing player in the league, and with another year under his belt, look for George to cultivate his raw talent into consistent nightly production next season.