The 2019 NBA offseason has to arguably be the wildest in a while. The balance in the NBA is restored as the “superteam” has been disbanded, and with all the moves, it seems it is a somewhat equal playing field. This offseason saw many players in new uniforms. Six of the 15 players named to an all NBA team this past season are now wearing different uniforms The NBA offseason has calmed down, and now players and fans are looking forward to the 2019-2020 season, players are even dropping out of team USA to prepare for next season. Players switching sides can elevate others to play better and prove themselves. Here are five players that will have a breakout season.
Al Horford signed a four year, $109 million contracts with the Philidelphia 76ers this past offseason. Horford previously played for the Boston Celtics for three seasons. Last season Horford averaged 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. Boston finished 4th in the eastern conference but was bounced in the second round to Milwaukee in five games. Horford became a free agent and decided to sign with the 76ers. This now elevates the 76ers to a different level because Horford can play the four because he is a stretch big that has an inside game. Where Horford makes an impact will not show up on the stat sheet, but he becomes a threat mentoring Joel Embiid and being a big body on the inside. The problem with 76ers last year was too many styles of play on one team. Horford adds a scoring threat which will take some attention from Joel Embiid on the inside. Horford will make an impact on the 76ers and help them be a top team in the east.
Patrick Beverley decided to stay put on the Los Angeles Clippers and not move to cross-town rival Lakers. Beverley signed a three year, $40 million contracts with the Clippers. The Clippers finished 8th in the western conference and were eliminated in the five games to the Golden State Warriors. Beverley averaged 7.6 points and 0.9 steals. The Clippers had a fantastic offseason acquiring both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This becomes a problem because now three of the best defenders in the league are on the same team. Patrick Beverley is known for his pesky playstyle on defense and high energy. In the playoffs, the Clippers tried putting Beverley on Kevin Durant. Beverley paired with Leonard and George can other teams a hard time scoring so now you start trapping opposing players and playing the passing lane is a scary sight for the NBA. Beverley can elevate his game and make his case for defensive player of the year.
Fred VanVleet did not sign a significant contract or switched team. VanVleet became a known name due to his heroic performance in the NBA finals.VanVleet hit big shots in the closing games of the series against the Warriors. VanVleet went from being playing four years at Wichita State, being the last man on the Toronto Raptors rotation to a city hero. VanVleet averaged 11 points and 4.8 assists. Being 6’0 makes him a small guard in today NBA, but his ability to shoot the basketball makes a threat. After the departure of Kawhi Leonard, it seems that everyone on the team now has a more prominent role. Although too small to play shooting guard and it does not look like Kyle Lowry will be benched, but VanVleet will see more minutes and have a much more significant role.
4- Cam Reddish
Cam Reddish was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, by the Atlanta Hawks, he was the third Duke player picked in that draft the other two being Zion Williamson and R.J Barett. Reddish averaged 13.5 points in his one season at Duke. Reddish was a five-star recruit coming into his freshman, but it seemed he could not find the rythm and was a forgotten star. Reddish and three and D type of player with a good shooting ability. Reddish was voted to have the best NBA career out of the rookies that were drafted. Playing with a young core will let Reddish flourish into a legit threat because there is not as much pressure on him now as there was in Duke. Jay Bilas said on first take regarding that report “If you look strictly across the board of the top three players in that report he is the most talented he is 6’8 long arms is super athletic best defender of the three can get a lot steals defend various positions, and he can shoot the basketball really well.” The other two top players were Ja Morant and De’Andre Hunter.
5- Micheal Porter, Jr.
Micheal Porter was drafted with the 14th pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2018 NBA draft. Porter Jr has not played an NBA game yet due to his back problems that kept out him out most of his college season at Missouri and his rookie year. Porter Jr. was a projected top-three pick coming into his freshman year, but his medical problems seemed to scare NBA teams which are why his stock dropped so low. Porter Jr. was already being compared to Kevin Durant, long wing player that can score at will, but he needed to be more consistent with his jump shot. He has been cleared to play but got a minor knee injury that kept him from participating in the 2019 summer league. Micheal Porter Jr. if healthy can have a breakout year and if he can develop into the player that the scouts saw before his injury then he will be certified star and the Denver Nuggets will be a powerhouse in the west.