With all the hubbub surrounding the free agency of players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, NBA fans tend to forget about the other things that make the 2010-2011 season something to look forward to.
The upcoming season is a time of redemption for some teams, and it is also a time for many skillful players to break out of their shell and show the league what they are made of.
Here are five players who I predict will have breakout seasons.
Lopez was one of the only bright spots on the woeful 2009-2010 season for the Nets. He showed a lot of promise in the paint both defensively and offensively.
Assuming the Nets pick up a high-quality free agent in addition to a draft pick who can possibly join Lopez in the Nets' front court, the Nets are going to enter next season with many bright spots.
We saw what Westbrook was able to do while watching the Thunder's series with the Lakers.
Westbrook's blazing speed and unreal athleticism can only lead to stardom. Look for Westbrook to be one of the most explosive and exciting players in the league next year.
Many NBA fans think that all Gallinari can do is shoot the ball. This is a common misconception.
After watching every Knicks game this year, I can proudly tell you that "Gallo" is an established all-around offensive gem. His shooting skills are off the charts, but he is also scoring in the post and off the drive.
Gallo is going to be a great lure when July comes around. Many superstars would love to play with a young talented player such as Gallinari.
His defense will also get better because he has a great defensive mind, but last year, he did not have the physical ability to guard many players one-on-one. But he will work out and improve that aspect as well.
Rose has already established himself as one of the best young point guards in the league.
Next year, he will be one of the greatest point guards in the game. Period.
Rose has shown his talent to NBA fans, but he has yet to reach the title of superstar. Next year, Rose will (hopefully for Chicago fans) be playing with a superstar. If someone else joins him, then Rose will have someone on his team to learn under, and the Bulls will be one of the better teams in the league.
But even if Rose remains the lone star in the Windy City, he will still break out of the term "star" and become a "superstar".
Things did not go so well for the Wizards last season. However, a potential star emerged.
Andray proved that he has what it takes to be high-class player in the NBA. There are maturity issues involved, but assuming he can overcome those issues, Blatche will be a great asset to either John Wall or Evan Turner.