You don't have to be an NBA expert to figure out that the league's superstars (i.e. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, etc.) will have plenty to say about how the remainder of the 2012-13 season plays out and what will transpire come playoff time in mid-April.
But beyond the biggest names with the most All-Star shimmer, there's no shortage of up-and-comers who will have a hand (or two) in shaping the league's landscape now and into the future.
No, I'm not talking about budding franchise cornerstones like James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez, though they've all done plenty to assert themselves as forces with whom to be reckoned in the years to come.
Rather, I'm referring to the young role players whose talents portend bigger and better things, perhaps even in the coming weeks and months. These seven guys certainly fit the bill.