The NBA preseason is the first opportunity players get to show what kind of work they've done during the summer to get ready for the 2012-13 season.
Tonight, the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves are set to take on the Chicago Bulls, who appear poised to make a deep postseason run now that franchise player Derrick Rose is healthy.
Looking ahead, here are a handful of young guns to watch for during tonight's game, who could earn regular-season minutes with strong performances during the preseason.
As the No. 2 overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, Derrick Williams entered the league with high expectations, and though he was good during his rookie season, the T-Wolves need him to be more of an impact player if they hope to finally make the playoffs in 2013.
Williams is a key part of Minnesota's rebuild, and Timberwolves fans have to be hoping that he'll be more of an offensive presence in 2012-13.
There's no questioning the former Arizona star's abilities, but one has to hope that he'll at least be posting double-digit scoring numbers during his sophomore season.
As one of the four members of Kentucky's NCAA Championship team to be selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft, Marquis Teague brings a winning pedigree to the Bulls roster.
Though he may not play much during his rookie season, Chicago undoubtedly considers Teague to be a valuable building block for the future, and if given the opportunity against the T-Wolves, the point guard will want to show Tom Thibodeau what he's capable of.
After a solid sophomore season in 2010-11 that saw Jermaine Taylor post a career-high 7.1 points per game with Sacramento, the former Central Florida standout spent last season with Rio Grande of the D-League.
Now, Taylor may be looking at one of his final chances to earn himself a spot in the NBA, but so far, he hasn't been given much of a chance, averaging just six minutes a game in the preseason.
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