Top Five NBA Breakout Players So Far This Season
Every season, there are players the have breakout campaigns that surprise us. For example, Devin Harris did not begin last year as a famous star in the NBA. However, after his breakout performance, people around the league now believe the Nets got the better end of the Jason Kidd trade and that Harris is one of the top ten point guards in the NBA.
This season is no different.
After almost one month of play, we are possibly seeing more breakout player performances than at any other time in recent history.
While Chris Kaman and Aaron Brooks are two players that have had somewhat surprising seasons, most observers expected them to do so at some point in their careers, and therefore will not be featured on this list.
Without further ado, here are the top five NBA breakout players so far this season.
C: Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)
Gasol is the brother of Lakers center Pau Gasol and is by far having the biggest season of his young NBA career. In his second season in the NBA, Gasol is playing very similarly to his more famous brother and is looking as if he could become one of the top ten centers in the NBA.
Gasol was originally drafted with the 48th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Lakers, but was traded to the Grizzlies in the deal in which Los Angeles acquired Pau.
Gasol played his first season in the NBA last year and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 7.4 rebounds and 12 points per game.
This year Gasol, O.J. Mayo, and Rudy Gay are all having great seasons for the Grizzlies. Gasol's averages include 15.2 points, 10.8 rebounds (top ten in the NBA), and almost two blocks per game.
SG: Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)
Tyreke Evans was selected out of Memphis with the fourth overall pick in last summer's NBA Draft. Evans, along with another King on this list, have helped the Kings greatly so far this year.
At Memphis last season, Evans was the only freshman in contention for the Oscar Robertson Award, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Player of the Year.
So far in his young career with the Kings, Evans has averaged 18.2 points, along with almost five assists and five rebounds per game.
PG: Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks)
Jennings was selected with the tenth overall pick in the draft by the Bucks. In Jennings' young NBA career, he has accomplished what many veteran NBA players have not, which is score more than 50 points in a single game.
Due to the NBA rule that all players entering the draft be one year removed from high school, Jennings wasn't able to immediately jump to the NBA after graduating. Unlike most American players, Jennings decided to forgo college and spend one year playing for Lottomatica Roma of the Italian Lega A.
So far in Jennings' NBA tenure, he has averaged 25.2 points along with almost five rebounds and six assists per game.
PG: Louis Williams (Philadelphia 76ers)
While this season marks Williams' fifth year in the NBA, it is his first as a starting PG. Luckily for the 76ers, it looks like they may have found a good replacement for the departed Andre Miller.
Williams was selected with the 45th pick in the 2005 draft by the 76ers and was one of the last players allowed to jump straight to the NBA out of high school.
As a member of the 76ers, he has been the backup point guard to both Allen Iverson and the aforementioned Miller. Last season, Williams averaged 12.8 points and three assists per contest.
So far this season, Williams has averaged career highs in points with 16.2 per game, rebounds with 3.8 per game, and assists with 5.1 per game.
PF: Jason Thompson (Sacramento Kings)
Thompson is currently in his first full season as the Kings' starting power forward. Thompson, along with Tyreke Evans, has shown that the Kings could be a young, talented team now and into the foreseeable the future.
Thompson was selected by the Kings with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 draft after playing college ball at Rider University. Last season, Thompson averaged 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while starting 56 games for Sacramento.
So far during his sophomore season, Thompson has averaged 14.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and almost three assists per game.