Now that the 2013 NBA draft has come to a close, everyone will be talking about how these players will impact their teams, but there are a few who will also likely be entertaining during this season’s All-Star weekend.
The All-Star weekend hosts the All-Star Game, but it also features the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge, not to mention the Rising Stars Challenge.
The Rising Stars Challenge will feature plenty of rookies to watch, but let’s take a look at some of these young guns who will possibly be participating in other events during the exciting weekend this season.
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
The first two picks shocked a lot of people, with Anthony Bennett out of UNLV in particular getting a lot of attention as the No. 1 overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Meanwhile, the Magic got the most electric player in college basketball last season who has all of the tools to succeed in the NBA right now.
While he may not instantly be an All-Star in his very first season, you can bet to see Victor Oladipo in the Slam Dunk Contest.
From warm-ups to actual games, Oladipo amazed Indiana Hoosiers fans with plenty of dazzling dunks, including this amazing 360 dunk against Illinois during the Big Ten tournament.
That dunk was great, but the near-dunk against Michigan would have been one of the greatest dunks ever.
The ridiculous leaping ability of Oladipo will make for some great plays in the NBA, and there’s little doubt that he will make a run for the Slam Dunk Contest champion this coming season.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
People constantly criticized Trey Burke for being listed around 6’0’’, but he’s the definition of a floor general thanks to his excellent decision-making and quickness.
A speedy small point guard who can dish it out? Sounds like the perfect candidate for a player in the Skills Challenge.
This was a guy who could run the floor while at Michigan. He averaged 18.6 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting, but he also put up an impressive 6.7 assists per game. He does a great job at finding the open man and usually gives them a perfect pass.
The Jazz needed a presence in the backcourt to complement a strong frontcourt, and his play in the 2013-14 season will make him one of the more exciting floor generals to watch in the league.
Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
There are rookies who will be fun to watch, and then there’s Ben McLemore. Not only will he put up points for the Kings, he also has a very good shot at making the Western Conference All-Star team in 2014.
A lot of it is because of the talent of McLemore, but it’s also because of the current situation of the guards in the West.
Kobe Bryant will be slowly returning from a torn Achilles, meaning that it’s unlikely he’ll make a big enough impact to earn a spot on the roster. Chris Paul’s future with the Clippers is uncertain, and there’s a chance he isn’t in the West next season.
Tony Parker is still a great player, but who knows how much he has left in the tank after a heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat?
If one or two spots open up on the West’s All-Star roster, McLemore could get in there. He was probably the most gifted player offensively in this draft, and his scoring will impress the fans.