The NBA has long been a star-driven league, and a new crop of players will make the leap to that rarefied talent tier in the upcoming season.
Ascending to stardom has to do with more than just someone's raw ability. Mitigating factors like supporting cast and scheme can provide the boost from very good to great, and they can even more easily hold a would-be elite guy back.
On a basic level, a star has to be someone in a position to carry his team—if not every night, at least on any given night—on at least one end of the floor. That doesn't even necessarily mean these breakout players are the best on their respective squads; rather, the surrounding players can maximize the star's strengths while shoring up his weaknesses.
We're talking about a very selective sphere of players here. Few have a shot to join the ranks of stardom in 2014-15, and most likely not all of these five will. They are simply the closest ones to grasping greatness.
Let's take a look at who could make that leap.