With the 2020-2021 NBA season starting in less than two weeks and the drafts already done, it might be time to take a look at some of the most promising names for the 2021 season. With the completion of the drafts, the teams have added players to bolster their ranks and have settled their eyes on the prize for the upcoming season. Just like every year, there are players who are expected to ‘leap over’ into stardom in 2021 – a routine phenomenon in NBA.
Due to the bifurcated schedule of the current season, a rather crucial time has been endowed upon the spectators or NBA fans in general, to make out the possible names of those who are predicted to make the ‘Leap’ this year.
Here are the top five players to watch out for the 2021 season:
1. Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns): Despite not having one of his brightest years in 2020 after being suspended for 25 games and Phoenix Suns going off to one of their brightest starts without him, the big man is all set to return to the league. The Arizona player has a varied profile, as with Ayton as the help defender, according to an ESPN profile by Mike Schmitz, “The Suns allow 0.85% points per chance.” The 2018 Top Pick averaged 1.16 points per roll possession in the 2019-2020 season. With the expectations running high, Phoenix has the potential to finally reach the Playoffs in 2021 with Ayton in the squad.
2. Michael Porter Jr (Denver Nuggets): With the Nuggets losing Jerami Grants and Mason Plumlee to Detroit Pistons and Torrey Craig to the Milwaukee Bucks, the squad has unexpectedly gone through a revamp, it seems. The breakout player to emerge out of the vacuum has undoubtedly been Michael Porter Jr. The young winger is probably set to be a regular starter for the Nuggets, as his quick shooting capability, produced from smooth jumps despite a considerable size proves to deliver nearly unblockable shots. Having starred in just eight games in the 2019-2020 season, there is a good chance of Porter being played as an offensive tactic by Nuggets coach Michael Malone.
3. Christian Wood (Detroit Pistons): The current Pistons Power Forward had been a free agent entire season-long, and after his stint in Detroit, has just cashed in on a $41 million deal with the Houston Rockets. During Wood’s 1300-plus minutes on court, the Pistons possessed a positive-net rating of 2.0 while having a negative 8.4 while he was benched. February onward, Wood averaged over 21 points and nine rebounds per game. Appearing 62 times in the current season, Wood’s future in Houston at the moment, however, is shrouded with uncertainty because of the mutual uncertainty in case James Harden for the Rockets.
4. Collin Sexton (Cleveland Cavaliers): A consistent offensive performer throughout the last season, Cavaliers Point-Guard Sexton’s breakout in the 2020-2021 would potentially see him reach for stardom. During his last 24 games, Sexton has scored about 25 points each game, and throughout the season has averaged 20.8 points. With chances of him turning into Cavaliers’ main scoring option, the numbers could rise substantially.
5. Coby White (Chicago Bulls): Bulls in the coming days will definitely be one of the squads to look out for in the league, and among the sheer number of young talents in the team under the guidance of coach Billy Donovan, winning ways can very well return to the Chicago-based team. Among the many, stands out Coby White, whose striking prowess can be understood by the number of buckets the 20-year-old bags in each game, allowing him to acquire an average of 13.2 points per game while having an average court time of 25.8 minutes. Significantly, the latter rose to 26.1 in White’s last games before the matches got shut down. With Kris Dunn moving to Atlanta, the time might finally be here for White to start regularly in the first team after starting only once in the first team last season.