The NBA is most exciting when young stars are budding across the league. The talent pool is ridiculous in the Association. Some players are just waiting to sprout into the player they have the potential to be. It is best to take this subject by division since I want to pick a breakout player for every team. The Atlantic Division is first and consists of the Celtics, Nets, Knicks, 76ers, and Raptors. This division has some of the most competitive teams in basketball... and the Knicks, sorry Stephan A. Smith. Being on great teams makes being a breakout player difficult due to a lack of opportunity. But I see the potential in each of these teams to bring new players into the media's scope.
O.G. stands for Ogugua. but he prefers O.G. since people butcher the pronunciation (Photo By: RaptorsRapture.com)
Here we go. My favorite breakout player on the list. O.G. Anunoby; the 6'7" small forward for the Toronto Raptors. His career path is one that matches many of the great players in the league today. Guys like Kawhi and Giannis both started as defensive-minded players with low shot tendency and occasional flashes. Now let me pump the brakes. He is not Giannis or Kawhi, but I see a great player in him. He is entering his fourth year professionally, and it is a contract year. Players across sports perform best in contract years to earn their money the next off-season. His numbers are inspiring, getting progressively better every season in totals, efficiency, and well-roundedness.
He proved last year in the playoffs that he is not scared to take big shots, defend great players, or hustle for a loose ball. I see a great player in this kid, and I anticipate that Nick Nurse and the Raptors organization recognizes this too. He may have only been the 23rd pick in the draft, but like my comparisons of Giannis and Kawhi, he does not care about being drafted in the lottery or not. O.G. cares about getting better and winning. And that's what he is going to do.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan