Whether it’s fantasy basketball or real life, everyone’s always trying to figure out who the biggest sleepers are heading into a new season. And while every NBA writer/prognosticator has their own views, it’s oftentimes interesting to hear the thoughts of NBA scouts as well. With that said, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News got up with some scouts to identify five players expected to have a breakout season this year. Here they are:
1. Jrue Holiday, PG, 76ers
2. Darren Collison, PG, Pacers
3. Kevin Love, PF, Timberwolves
4. D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats
5. J.J. Hickson, PF, Cavaliers
Looking at this list, it’s hard to argue with any of these guys. Especially the three point guards on the list. Holiday finds himself in a situation in Philly where his backcourt instantly got better with the arrival of Evan Turner, and with a year under his belt, he should be ready to become a very productive point guard. Collison is in the same boat, but after filling in for Chris Paul last season, is now the PG of the future in Indiana. As for Augustin, he’ll have to prove that he can legitimately be the floor general for Charlotte. While many people had their doubts about Ray Felton, he did lead the Bobcats to the playoffs last year.
As for the two power forwards on this list – Love and Hickson – they find themselves on rebuilding teams and should have ample opportunity to dominate. For Love in Minnesota, he is only helped by the fact that All-Star quality big man Al Jefferson is now in Utah, while Hickson’s frontcourt got cleared out with the departure of Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shaq.
What do you think? Who do you predict is going to have a breakout season this year?
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