James Harden was a victim of circumstance with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Was he a star? Of course, the full extent of his potential wasn't yet realized until the shackles of coming off the bench were removed and he was unleashed at the hands of the Houston Rockets.
Since being unchained, Harden has proved to be a top 10-caliber talent, someone who can carry a team on his back and be a championship-worthy cornerstone for the future.
As amazing as it sounds, Harden is not alone. Or rather, the Harden of last season is not alone.
Throughout the NBA there are a handful of young guns who are currently playing a smaller part than their talents ultimately suggest. They're stars in the making who will one day head a title-worthy cause.
Will any of them have to spurn their current team in favor of greener pastures to actualize such potential?
We don't yet know.
But we do know that, in the not-so-distant future, they're bound to explode onto the scene the same way Harden has this season.
*All stats in this article are accurate as of December 27, 2012.