We’re about two weeks into the new NBA season, and other than the main headlines around the league, there are some more unheralded players who seem to be emerging.
These three young players in particular seem to be taking things to the next level, and their teams are doing well as a result.
1. Desmond Bane – Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies had an outstanding season last year in which they overachieved by winning 56 games and taking the eventual world champion Golden State Warriors to six games in the Western Conference semifinals.
With that success came lofty expectations for this season, and in order for them to meet those expectations, they need to find a legitimate second star or superstar for Ja Morant.
Could Desmond Bane be that man?
After starting slowly in his first three games, he has scored 38, 31, 32 and 29 points in his last four contests.
Overall, the 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 24.9 points per game, and he is shooting lights out from 3-point range by hitting 46.9 percent from that distance.
2. Pascal Siakam – Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam has been considered a good player for years, as he made the All-Star team in 2020, but so far this year, he is playing outstanding ball.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound big man is putting up 25.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists a game through eight contests.
In the Raptors’ second game of the year, he exploded for 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Toronto Raptors fans are bubbling with excitement after watching Pascal Siakam 🇨🇲 fill the stat sheet (37 PTS/ 13 REB/ 11 AST/15-20FG) in the team’s narrow loss to the Nets. #NBAAfrica #NBA pic.twitter.com/qXQchuycdX
— NBA Africa (@NBA_Africa) October 22, 2022
3. Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have surprised many with a 5-2 record, and Anfernee Simons is a big reason why.
He’s averaging 22.0 points per game so far, which is up from 17.9 points a contest last season.
Developing young players such as him will be vital for the Blazers’ chances of becoming a contender before Damian Lillard starts declining due to old age.