Blogtable: Second- or third-year player ready to rise the ranks?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Rising second- or third-year player? | Playoff teams set to stumble? | Your all-lefty team

VIDEOOtto Porter talks about his expanded role in the 2015 playoffs

> Last week we asked for your early Rookie of the Year candidate. This week we want you to name a second- or third-year player who’s primed for a breakout season.

Steve Aschburner, Magic forward Aaron Gordon generated some buzz with his improved play, particularly his shooting range, in the Orlando summer league. But I’m going with Washington’s Otto Porter. Heading into his third season, Porter is a strong candidate to more than double his averages so far – 4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 15.8 mpg – because he did it in the Wizards’ small, 10-playoff-game sample size in spring. In a significant turnaround, the slender forward averaged 10.8 points and 8.0 rebounds in the postseason. And Washington was 10.7 points per 100 possessions better than the opposition with Porter on the floor vs. 8.7 worse when he was off. His opportunities will only increase with Paul Pierce‘s departure and frankly, it’s time.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comOtto Porter. He came up strong when coach Randy Wittman finally let him off the leash in the playoffs. With more minutes next season, he’s ready to shine.

Shaun Powell, There are some rather obvious candidates such as Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, the “Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson. But I’m going with Aaron Gordon of the Magic. He was never really healthy for much of his rookie season and then dealt with inconsistency when he healed. But there’s no doubt he’s an amazing athlete in the mold of Blake Griffin and he has skills, which he showed during a terrific effort in summer league, flashing an improved mid-range jumper. I hope new coach Scott Skiles is the right coach for him.

John Schuhmann, Otto Porter was out of the Wizards’ rotation in late March, but played a big role in the Wizards’ offensive reinvention in the playoffs, while also slowing down DeMar DeRozan on the other end of the floor. Porter should be Washington’s starting small forward and part of a more dynamic offense this season. If he can shoot 3-pointers, John Wall can turn him into the next Trevor Ariza.

Sekou Smith, Based on all of the chatter coming from Summer League, coupled with the new regime in place in Chicago, Doug McDermott should have the stage to break out with the Bulls. I don’t know exactly what his role will be, but the opportunity for a floor-spacer with his skill set on a what should be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, is there. Like Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic before him, “McBuckets” has a flag to carry in this department. There is a similar opportunity awaiting Mitch McGary in Oklahoma City and Aaron Gordon in Orlando.

Ian Thomsen, CJ McCollum broke out in the final month of last season with four games of 26 points or more, including three concluding playoff performances against Memphis in which he produced 26, 18 and 33 points. The Blazers will give him every opportunity to become one of the NBA’s top sixth men, based on their need for scoring in the absence of LaMarcus Aldridge.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog It seems like people maybe sort of forgot about him, after he suffered a season-ending knee injury, but I think Jabari Parker is going to have a big year once he gets completely healthy. With a big man (Greg Monroe) behind him, Parker’s defensive deficiencies will matter less, and his ability to score isn’t going anywhere. And coach Jason Kidd has shown time and again an ability to put players in positions to be most successful.


  1. OverseasNBAfan says:

    I’m excited to see Zach LaVine grow into the potent offensive scorer he seems destined to be, but hes still got a lot of seasons to develop along side Wiggins, with what is turning into a very interesting young Timberwolves roster!
    Couple of young guys from last season would be great to see do well after injury that have been mentioned, Parker and Randle hoping those 2 come on strong after set backs.
    After what he did coming off the bench last year then starting second half with the Jazz rising defensively, Gobert is primed for big season, possibly in top of DPOY talks. Also had high hopes for Exum to have beak out season after adjusting to the league being a young rookie, very unfortunate he now has serious injury going into season.

  2. Yup says:

    Joel Embiid. Game over.

  3. Donald King says:

    I’m going with my home town player Tony Snell #ChiCity he’s due for an break out season following behind Jimmy Butler footstep…I’ve seen him featured on TXS recently as well (the post is

  4. Mason says:

    TJ Warren. Suns traded Mook out of gas way so it should be interesting to see whether he can battle with PJ Tucker for the starting 3 spot this year.

    Also, this question is for Lang. How does Greg Monroe (An offensive big man and a minus defender, cover Up Jabari’s defensive defenciencies?

  5. tdsto28 says:

    Did everyone forget about Andrew Wiggins? I thought he would be an obvious choice after winning rookie of the year last year

  6. adot says:

    jeremy lamb

  7. Goozdail says:

    Not even the slightest reference to Rudy Gobert is quite impressive… have you guys been watching the NBA? I thought he would be all over the article when I clicked. Schroeder deserved to be in there too, to a lesser extent

  8. Gerald says:

    I can not belief that Rudy Gobert was not included. He had a great 2nd half of the season and could contend for most improved or best defender.

  9. BucksFan9876 says:

    Being a bucks fan, I have to go with Jabari Parker who was putting up great numbers before he was injured. I also think Anthony Bennett can turn into a good role player for the Timberwolves.

  10. dcthug says:

    Otto has a ton of talent but he needs to get a mean streak. He will average 12-15 easily next year. Best defender on the team besides Wall and can get 5-8 boards a game.

  11. Dsol7 says:

    I am going with Giannis and jabari Parker , Jabari was really starting to put it all together when he got hurt. And if Giannis has anything resembling a jumper this season the league should be very afraid of what the Bucks are going to put on the floor.

  12. TheOttomanEmpire says:

    Watch me rise…

  13. G'dEagle says:

    A lot of candidates for this list. Marcus Smart, Nikola Mirotic, Jabari Parker, Dennis Schroder, Aaron Gordon, Otto Porter, SA’s Anderson, Will Barton, Jusuf Nurkic, Shabazz Muhamme, Mitch McGary, C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, T.J. Warren, Archie Goodwin. And the list could easily be much longer.

  14. Andre says:

    grand theft otto? wasn’t he shaqtin a fool mvp?

  15. Nicky D says:

    I know Clint Capela is a bit under the radar, but after his playoff performance, does he deserve some consideration here?

  16. J4CK Nicholson says:

    PG – Jordan Clarkson
    SG – Zach LaVine
    SF – Giannis Antetokounmpo
    PF – Julius Randle
    C – Rudy Gobert

  17. Stopmakingexcuses says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Ben McLemore. If this dude has been working on his game this offseason, which I think he has. You’ll be hearing from him a lot this coming year.

  18. CJ McCollum of course. Young man was a hard worker at LU, continues to be humble and a hungry. We loved watching him play.

  19. CJ McCollum has my vote. Guy worked hard at LU and he will in the NBA. Humble young man.

  20. Eddie says:

    Shabazz Muhammad

  21. I’m going with my home town player Tony Snell #ChiCity he’s due for an break out season following behind Jimmy Butler footstep…

  22. Adrian says:

    Y’all heard of tj warren?

  23. Cade Walker says:

    Julius Randle

  24. That guy, says:

    Bogdanovic? and mitch mcgary…

  25. Harriethehawk says:

    Dennis Shroeder.

  26. dd def says:

    McCollum will have an excellent year. easily my pick for a potential most improved candidate.

  27. Defdun says:

    2nd year: Jabari Parker! Full stop! There is plenty of upside in Aaron Gordon. Dark Horse: Clint Capela
    3rd year: Enes Kanter will be stepping it up. Dennis Schroeder will flourish in ATL. Dark Horse: Mike Muscala