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 Southwest Division includes the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, and San Antonio Spurs. Currently these teams each hold some of the most impressive young players in the NBA. Stars like Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Luka Doncic headline the leagues youth movement all being 21 and under. To boot, the divisions holds some veteran stars from the past decade like John Wall, James Harden, and DeMar DeRozen. It is exciting for fans of all ages. All of these teams are borderline playoff or contending teams and are looking to improve. Some of that growth will come from their breakout players this year.
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It has been nearly 350 days since we last saw Justice Winslow take the court. He has yet to play minutes for the Grizzlies due to injury last season. I am excited to see him make his return to basketball. For those that forgot, Winslow converted to a point guard role with the Heat before getting injured. The experiment at point guard went very well as he was a plus-seven in the 32 game stretch. He can play the point guard through the power forward effectively on the defensive end. His incredible defense is necessary for the Grizzlies and will earn him a starting spot. He has always been a great defender, but it is his playmaking ability that excites the Grizzlies
Ja Morant is in desperate need of a player that can take the load off of him. With Jaren Jackson Jr. out for an undisclosed amount of time, Winslow will step in and be the player that takes the most pressure off of Ja. Winslow can handle the ball and set up Morant for plays off the ball, which will add new dimensions to the offense. They have had to rely on Dillon Brooks to be their number two option sIn Jaren Jackson's absence. Brooks is a solid player but does not have the overall impact that Justice will bring to the table. He looks to join the lineup soon and show his value right away as a starting small forward for a team in desperate need of one. As a starter and potential secondary ball-handler in the offense, I expect Justice Winslow to turn some heads and remind us why he was selected in the top 10 in the 2015 draft.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan