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 Northwest Division holds the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, and Portland Trail Blazers. One of the least successful divisions in the sport, they have had zero championships in this divisions since it was forged in 2004. The drought looks like it will continue because the division does not look to have any legit contenders. The only thing that could change that is if players made strides in the off-season and have breakout seasons this year.
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jordan Clarkson is the prototypical 6th man that enters the game and does nothing but get buckets. He has one of the most versatile scoring games in the league. Clarkson can take you off the dribble and get to the basket with ease or have you thinking he'll go to the hole and snatch back to hit his signature off the dribble mid-range shot. His quickness allows him to create his shot, but his standing catch-and-shoot has improved throughout his career as well. If you lose track of him off-ball he will ring in open threes with ease. This skill is near the top of the league when it comes to a well-rounded offensive game. His lack of vision and size keep him from being an impactful first or second scoring option, but as a 6th man is a perfect fit for the Utah Jazz.
This season, Clarkson will be playing as the second-best scorer on a playoff team in Utah. Last year, fresh off a trade to the Jazz, he had one of his best seasons. I believe that with more time to build chemistry and on this defensive-minded roster he will be able to put up plenty of points off the bench. I can see Jordan having the best year of his career. He has played on three teams now and it feels like he has been around forever, but he is only 28 years old and has a lot left in the tank. This year he will win 6th man of the year and average a career-high in points and finally get the credit he deserves for being one of the best role players in the league.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan