In my opinion, the definition of a real sleeper is a player who has the potential to be great, but hasn't had the chance to show it yet. Here is my list of players who have the potential to breakout this year.
In the the newly installed D'Antoni offense, Chandler has the chance to become the Shawn Marion of the New York Knicks offense.
He is great at running the floor and can finish in the lane. For a team desperate for a new identity, Coach Mike D'Antoni will feel pressure from the front office to go with some youth and athleticism. Chandler fits that bill. He has to beat out Quentin Richardson for the starting gig—it can't be that hard.
This one is a stretch, but the guy was an absolute beast in the National Basketball Developmental League and I see it transferring to eventual NBA success.
In the 2006-07 NBDL season, Johnson averaged 18.9 points 9.7 rebounds 1.18 steals and 3.14 blocks per game. Granted, those numbers were accumulated against lesser talent than the NBA, but it gives you an idea of what this kid can do.
Antonio McDyess and Jason Maxiell stand in his way of significant playing time. But with McDyess being 34-years-old now, it isn't hard to believe that the Detroit Pistons will try to insert Johnson into the lineup more this year.
If an injury hits someone in the Piston's front court, look for Johnson to get some real playing time.
The 6'9'' Warrick figures to finally get a good amount of playing time as a full-time starter. In years past, Warrick was stuck behind Pau Gasol but now he is the front court leader of the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies.
Outside of Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, there really isn't much as far as scoring for the Grizzlies, so look for Warrick to get some added points. A 17 points, eight rebound, and one block per-game year isn't out of the realm of possibility for Warrick.
Most people believe that Ramon Sessions will be taking over at the point guard spot for the Milwaukee Bucks. but people also forget that Ridnour was one of the original 32 members chosen to try out for our Olympic team a few years ago.
Ridnour is a pass-first point guard, which is exactly what the Bucks need with talented scorers like Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson, and Andrew Bogut on the floor. Ridnour's defense has improved over the past couple of seasons, which should help him stay on the court under Scott Skiles.
Conley seems to be the forgotten rookie from last year. If he can remain healthy, he'll be the one dishing the ball off to Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo.
With Brenden Haywood possibly out for the year and Etan Thomas coming back from heart surgery, Blatche could be in for some serious playing time.
He averaged 1.4 blocks in only 20 minutes per game last season. If an injury occurs to either Thomas or Antawn Jamison, look for Blatche to put up huge rebounding and blocks numbers.
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