Despite what Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant would have you believe, it's pretty difficult to stay on top of the NBA pyramid forever. New stars are born all the time, and there's a particularly bright bunch looking to make an ascent this season.
All of these young up-and-comers have shown flashes at some point, but many of them have been held back by a lack of playing time. Others have just taken a bit longer to find the right opportunity.
And in the case of a couple of second-year big men, overly cautious organizations deliberately limited their exposure in hopes that the learning curve wouldn't be too steep.
With depth charts cleared and the training wheels off, these players with star potential are ready to rise into the league's upper echelon.