The NBA season has been recently torn to shreds for the lack of parity within the league. The outcome of the NBA Playoffs seem inevitable year after year as the Golden State Warriors continue to improve their team while other franchises scramble to reach their level, but ultimately fall short.

Nevertheless, the NBA season is still full of plenty surprises – one of which are players who break out of their shell and greatly improve. Last year, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dion Waiters were among the breakout stars in the NBA, but the question is who will break out next season?

No. 5 Willie Cauley-Stein – Sacramento Kings

After the Sacramento Kings completed the inevitable break-up trade with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein finally had the opportunity to break into his untapped potential and was able to showcase an array of talents both offensively, and defensively.

Per Game Stats

 Split  Value  G  GS  FG%  FT%  TS%  MP  PTS  TRB  AST
 All-Star  Pre  50  0  0.561  0.603  0.574  13  5.8  2.7  0.5
 Post  25  21  0.504  0.716  0.544  30.9  12.9  8.2  2.2

(via. Basketball Reference)

Because it was only a 25-game sample, we can’t truly consider it a breakout season; but with the work ethic Willie Cauley-Stein possesses, it’s likely he returns even better.

No. 4 Norman Powell – Toronto Raptors

Norman Powell has never been able to catch a break. He’s undoubtedly showcased his offensive and defensive capabilities in the two seasons he’s played in, but he was always stuck behind DeMarre Carroll and Terrence Ross in the rotation.

Per Game Stats

Season Pos MP FG% 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2015-16 SG 14.8 .424 .404 .502 .811 2.3 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.7 1.2 5.6
2016-17 SG 18.0 .449 .324 .504 .792 2.2 1.1 0.7 0.2 0.9 1.7 8.4
Career 16.7 .441 .351 .503 .797 2.2 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.8 1.5 7.3

(via. Basketball Reference)

Now that Terrence Ross and DeMarre Carroll are no longer in Toronto, Norman Powell only has the recently acquired, CJ Miles, to compete with for the starting role –  and will likely win it. The talented wing will finally be able to showcase his talents consistently on an elite Toronto Raptors squad.

No. 3 Clint Capela – Houston Rockets

Clint Capela is a player who consistently improves year after year and has become the ideal center for the modern day NBA. He was the perfect lob threat for James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

Per Game Stats

Season Age MP FG% 2P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2014-15 20 7.5 .483 .483 .174 3.0 0.2 0.1 0.8 0.4 1.2 2.7
2015-16 21 19.1 .582 .583 .379 6.4 0.6 0.8 1.2 0.8 2.5 7.0
2016-17 22 23.9 .643 .643 .531 8.1 1.0 0.5 1.2 1.3 2.8 12.6
Career 20.2 .614 .614 .433 6.9 0.7 0.6 1.2 1.0 2.5 9.0

(via. Basketball Reference)

After the blockbuster trade sent Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, Capela was granted another playmaker to feed him the ball in pick-and-roll and alley-oop situations.

Capela was sharing minutes at the center slot with veteran, Nene Hilario – but because of the pace the Rockets will want to play at, it is likely Clint sees a great spike in minutes – thus, improving his stats and overall play drastically.

No. 2 Ricky Rubio – Utah Jazz

Ricky Rubio was once considered to be one of the greatest international players to ever play the game. But once Rubio made the jump to the NBA, he never filled the immense expectations that were awaiting him. It always seemed to be a wrong fit for Ricky in Minnesota, but now with the new opportunity in Utah, Rubio has a shot at redemption.

Due to the recent departure of All-Star forward, Gordon Hayward, Ricky Rubio will have a substantially greater role on offense in Utah. The 26-year-old point guard has the luxury of playing alongside Rudy Gobert – a defensive juggernaut and one of the greatest lob threats in the entire NBA, which will make Rubio’s time a lot easier on both sides of the court.

No. 1 Tobias Harris – Detroit Pistons

Tobias Harris has had a peculiar start to his NBA career, to say the least. Harris has been traded to three different teams, despite being under the age of 25. He struggled with the Milwaukee Bucks, his first team, but he has shown great promise as a two-way player in Orlando and Detroit.

Per Game Stats

Season Age Tm G GS MP FG% 3P% 2P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS
2011-12 19 MIL 42 9 11.4 .467 .261 .500 .485 .815 2.4 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.7 5.0
2012-13 20 TOT 55 34 23.6 .455 .315 .493 .488 .752 5.2 1.3 0.6 0.8 1.2 11.0
2012-13 20 MIL 28 14 11.6 .461 .333 .489 .491 .885 2.0 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.6 4.9
2012-13 20 ORL 27 20 36.1 .453 .310 .494 .487 .721 8.5 2.1 0.9 1.4 1.8 17.3
2013-14 21 ORL 61 36 30.3 .464 .254 .508 .486 .807 7.0 1.3 0.7 0.4 1.3 14.6
2014-15 22 ORL 68 63 34.8 .466 .364 .500 .512 .788 6.3 1.8 1.0 0.5 1.7 17.1
2015-16 23 TOT 76 74 33.1 .469 .335 .518 .514 .831 6.7 2.2 0.9 0.5 1.4 14.7
2015-16 23 ORL 49 49 32.9 .464 .311 .523 .507 .784 7.0 2.0 1.0 0.6 1.6 13.7
2015-16 23 DET 27 25 33.4 .477 .375 .512 .524 .911 6.2 2.6 0.7 0.4 1.1 16.6
2016-17 24 DET 82 48 31.3 .481 .347 .537 .532 .841 5.1 1.7 0.7 0.5 1.2 16.1

(via. Basketball Reference)

With the departures of Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, along with the acquistion of Avery Bradley, Tobias will likely receive an extensive role as the starting small forward, with no one but Stanley Johnson to share the minutes with.

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