What makes the National Basketball Association so exciting is not only the amazing star players, but the players that are on their path to becoming the best. These players have worked their tails off ever since the season has ended to put their name at the high tier of the league.
Every season there is a select group of players that become even better than they previously were and have breakout seasons. Most of these players go on to win the NBA's most improved player award.
This upcoming season should be nothing short of fascinating when it comes to these players that will have tremendous seasons.
It was hard just to pick the five players, but I believe these players will make big names of themselves this season and prove that they should be household names.
PG: Aaron Brooks
The little man from Oregon, Aaron Brooks made a name for himself during the 2008-09 playoffs. Brooks played magnificently against the Portland Trail Blazers and the champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Earlier in the season, Rafer Alston was traded and the Rockets had no choice but to put the quick Brooks in the starting rotation. The Rockets soon found out that it was a good move.
Brooks is not the traditional pass-first point guard and has a scorers mentality. Throughout the playoffs he averaged 17 points and shot 42 percent from beyond the arc for Houston.
Other than Yao Ming and possibly Shane Battier, Brooks was the most important player for the Rockets during their playoff run, not Ron Artest who was a chucking machine.
Look for Brooks to be one of the higher scoring point guards this season especially with Yao and Tracy McGrady out.
SG: Courtney Lee
Many experts did not like the Vince Carter deal to the Orland Magic for one reason, Courtney Lee. They said why would you give up a young stud in Lee.
Some of them have some points and Lee will be an amazing player for the New Jersey Nets, a team that will need an extra 25 points a game without Carter.
Lee did not do too well in guarding Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals, but what can you expect? Bryant is the best player in the league and Lee should great effort in defending him.
Playing alongside four scorers in Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Dwight Howard won't get you many touches, but Lee still managed to put up eight points a game in 25 minutes.
He claims that he can be a great scorer for the Nets and even Shaquille O'Neal said that Lee will be one hell of a player.
SF: Wilson Chandler
It's looking more and more unlikely that the New York Knicks will keep David Lee and/or Nate Robinson. This leaves it for Wilson Chandler to put the Knicks on his back.
Chandler is a long, versatile defender and is good at blocking shots and playing the passing lane. He is also a solid rebounder.
What has surprised people the most is his ability to score. He has nights were he can score 20 plus, mostly when Lee or Robinson or struggling, he steps up and takes the game under his wing.
Al Harrington and Chandler will be the main players for the team next year. Even if Lee and Robinson re-sign, Chandler is poised to have a breakout year.
Rumors are that Chandler has worked hard in the off-season along side Danillo Gallinari and is ready for a chance to get the Knicks into the playoffs.
PF: Anthony Randolph
Anthony Randolph is the player in the group of guys that will have the best season. In little glimpses of action Randolph didn't do much in the early part of the season. Don Nelson didn't like him and he was immature and trade talks rose.
Near the middle of the year, Randolph earned more minutes with his hustle. He played with a positive attitude and always gave it his all on the court. He can play the point and he is just half an inch shy of seven feet. Not only that, but he has gained 20 pounds of muscle this off-season.
Rumors are that Randolph has been working on his shooting with sharp-shooting Anthony Morrow. If Randolph develops a shot, he may be impossible to defend.
Randolph dominated the Summer League and was robbed of the MVP. His impressive performance got him an invite to the Team USA mini-camp.
Nellie has penciled Randolph in as the starter at the power forward position for this season, and numerous experts are predicting a breakout season from this future superstar. Not only does he have the skill, but he has the work ethic and will to become a star in the league.
C: Andrea Bargnani
Cashing in is this off-season, Andrea Bargnani is ready to be the center for the Toronto Raptors. People have compared this guy to Dirk Nowitzki for being a seven-footer with the ability to shoot like a guard.
Bargnani isn't a good rebounder, but his defense has improved in the later course of the season last year.
He averaged 15 points a game last season, scoring five more than he did the previous season. Look for him to average around 15-19 points this season. He will team with Chris Bosh to become one of the better, yet softer front courts in the league.
This will be the season where all the years of waiting pays off and Bargnani takes off the bust label as some see him as.
I'm not sure that Bargnani can live up the expectations of a number one pick, but he will show that he can be at least a borderline All-Star.
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