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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The San Antonio Spurs have been successful for the better part of three decades. The entirety of Coach Pop's run has consisted of playoff appearances and championships. It is not due to the free-agent acquisitions or trades the team makes. The Spurs have been and continue to build from within by drafting humble players and molding them into superstars. It started with Duncan, then Parker and Manu. Later, Kawhi came along, and all of those players have Hall of Fame written all over them. The next in that line is young guard Dejounte Murray. He has three seasons under his belt at this point in his career. As a second-year player, he was named All-Defensive second team and was top ten in steals in his third year. His defensive prowess has always been on display and has earned him his playing time as a young player.
This year Dejounte will look to take a larger role offensively in addition to his All-World defense. His length and size for his position will go a long way in making him an impact player in all facets of the game. He can rebound at an incredible rate for a guard and has great playmaking ability on top of that. While I am not sure he is ready to run point for this Spurs team, I do believe that as a secondary ball-handler he will excel. While he has been my pick to break out this year since the beginning, the season has been underway for ten games now, and he has shown great promise to fulfill these lofty goals I have set for him and possibly help the Spurs return to their winning ways down the line.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan