Becoming an NBA star is a tough task for most young players.
We see the potential from college up to their first couple of years in the league, and assume they can be a star very soon.
However, a lot of times it doesn’t happen.
It is hard trying to break through that next tier of an NBA player.
We have seen New York Knicks all-star Julius Randle take that leap forward into a star player.
Now we need to know who can it be for next season.
Some members of the media believed this was the year for the former number 1 overall pick to take that leap.
He had shown flashes his first 2 seasons in the NBA, but this year he was playing with the “Point God” Chris Paul.
Chris Paul has a tendency to unlock the potential in players, wherever he goes.
They looked at DeAndre Jordan as the example for what Chris Paul was going to do for Ayton’s career.
That hasn’t been the case this year, unfortunately.
Ayton has still played very good throughout this season and the Phoenix Suns are on the cusp of being a top 3 seed in the west, after not making the playoffs for the last decade.
The points have dipped from the previous season, but the FG% has increased from 55% to 62%.
The pressure of being the number 1 pick is a lot on players and Ayton has been aware of the criticism.
He has had to come out and publicly state how he is doing what the team needs.
For your halftime entertainment.
Story on Deandre Ayton.
“I know what type of player I am, but it’s about what my team needs. It’s not about me. It’s about what my team needs and it’s about what I need to get better at to help my team win.” #Suns https://t.co/A35SlGuXFn pic.twitter.com/TCG5BvbT0J
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) April 14, 2021
That is remarkable for a young player that is looked at to be a future star in this league.
Perhaps another season being comfortable with Chris Paul and not thinking about stepping on any toes can lead to a star season next year.
Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. might be the next great scorer in the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets have taken their time with the potential young star, after they drafted him in 2018, while he was dealing with a severe back injury.
They have taken it slow, but now it is time for the training wheels to be removed.
He has been on a tear as of late, putting up great scoring numbers and elite shooting.
Michael Porter Jr. has some elite shooting splits this season:
53 FG% – 43 3P%
Only 1.1 Turnovers per game as well…Efficiency. 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/SumwwfoDLL
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 12, 2021
His effortless jump shot is a thing of beauty, and with his height at 6’10”, it is almost impossible to contest.
The biggest reason why he can be a star next season is because of the unfortunate injury Jamal Murray sustained last week.
With Jamal Murray tearing his ACL this late in the season means he will most likely be out until March of next season at the earliest.
MPJ is next up and the Nuggets could sure need him to take his potential to the next level.
Honorable Mention: De’Andre Hunter
The 2nd year wing out of Virginia has made major strides this season.
The only issue is this knee injury that has made him only suit up for 20 games.
In those 20 games, however, he has been great on both ends of the court.
His numbers have increased dramatically in three categories: FG%, FT%, and PPG.
He has gone from 12 PPG to 16 PPG, 41% from the field to 50%, and 76% from the line to 87%.
His improvement has been a major bright spot for the future of the Hawks.
Not only is he a plus on offense, but he is usually tasked with guarding the Kawhi Leonard and Lebron James types of players.
The Atlanta Hawks are 6.5 PPG better defensively with Hunter on the court.
If the injuries begin to stop for Hunter, expect another leap from him next season.