How NBA 'Stars' Can Evolve into Legit Superstars Next Season

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How NBA 'Stars' Can Evolve into Legit Superstars Next Season
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The NBA's seasonal "Circle of Life" usually entails the ceremonial lifting of at least one Simba-like figure to new heights of basketball brilliance.

Which is an overly Disney-fied way of saying that young talents are reborn as superstars nearly every year.

Last season, we watched James Harden, once a superb Sixth Man of the Year for the Oklahoma City Thunder, blossom into a bona fide franchise player with the Houston Rockets.

Brook Lopez and Kyrie Irving both rose toward that level, albeit to a lesser extent—Lopez limited by his secondary role on the Brooklyn Nets, Irving by the Cleveland Cavaliers' overall putridity.

Next year's crop of potential rising stars is particularly deep. Some have been All-Stars. Some have already earned awards and other league-wide distinctions. Some came of age in the 2013 playoffs. And others have flashed tremendous talent without having yet achieved official recognition for it.

What they all share, though, is a need to improve in just a few key areas to strengthen their claims to budding superstardom.

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