5 NBA Unknowns Who Will Become Must-See Highlight Material in 2012-13

Ethan Sherwood Strauss@SherwoodStraussNBA Lead WriterNovember 8, 2012

5 NBA Unknowns Who Will Become Must-See Highlight Material in 2012-13

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    If only NBA coaches knew that basketball was about entertainment. They're so inclined to favor unimportant things like defense and winning when we casual fans craves monster dunks and shooting barrages. 

    Stodgy coaches are especially averse to young players. It makes sense; younger guys are less inclined to grasp defensive concepts or to discern a good shot from a bad one. 

    But every now and again, exciting unknowns break through rotations and provide awesome highlights. There are quite a few young, intriguing players in 2012-2013 who might come into their own and dominate the SportsCenter Top 10. 

5. Jeremy Evans

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    If Jeremy Evans could get on the court, he would be so high on this list. Unfortunately, minor concerns like "defense," "passing" and "shooting" prevent Evans from cracking the rotation. 

    The amazing leaper averaged 7.5 minutes per game last year. There are few signs that the trend is changing this season. It's all so sad, because when Jeremy gets on the floor, magic happens.

    Ronny Turiaf probably wants us to forget, but Evans' work against him was unforgettable. The block/dunk combo was one of the coolest basketball plays I've ever seen. In typical Jeremy fashion, it happened in the preseason. 

4. Dion Waiters

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    This kid has confidence. This kid has too much confidence. 

    Waiters had a seven three-pointer, breakout performance against the Clippers in which he made so many bad decisions. But guess what? The awful decisions were rewarded.

    Dion doesn't care if Kyrie Irving is in the backcourt; he's chucking contested. On the right night, it's a flurry of swishes that conjures J.R. Smith's best work. On a bad night, it's the awful version of J.R. Smith. 

3. Andre Drummond

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    It has been a terrible start for the Detroit Pistons, and for Andre Drummond by extension. The kid really impressed in the preseason, but he's back to his bad UConn ways. 

    Still, Lawrence Frank should actually play his backup center. At least the kid can move and block shots, something that's in short supply in Detroit. The Pistons aren't good and would do well to get on with the youth movement. Less of Jason Maxiell, more of a guy who can do this:

Alexey Shved

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    Say hello to the Russian And-1 mixtape. The Timberwolf guard has a slick, brash game, full of behind-the-back passes and pull-up three-pointers. 

    He captured hoop nerd attention during the Olympics and has played well (for a rookie) in his first few Minnesota games. With Ricky Rubio out, this is the Euroballer who can wring the Minny offense for all the highlights it's worth. Don't believe me? Check out this highlight mix, set to a strange musical selection. 

1. Eric Bledsoe

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    The Clippers hung on to the young combo guard, refusing to include him in the trade for Chris Paul. They did it for good reason, because Bledsoe is one of the game's most intriguing up-and-comers.

    This kid is a superior athlete, and unlike so many players who fit that billing, he can play a vicious kind of defense. Bledsoe excels in ball pressure D, which leads to steals and other kinds of turnovers. The natural result of such plays are often really cool highlights.