This year is going to be a little different for some teams. A couple more teams have signed up for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. Some second-year/rookie players are going to have a lot more playing time because of this. This article will go over the 2022-2023 NBA season player breakout predictions.
Jared Butler: Utah Jazz
Butler is coming off a rookie season with averages of 3.8 points, 1.1 boards, 1.5 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks on 40% from the field, 32% from three and 69% from the line. There have been multiple reports regarding the playing time increase for Butler. If Donovan Mitchell is ultimately traded this off-season, expect Butler to play a ton more this season. If not, he will likely be one of the first guards off the bench. Per-36 mins, he averages some eye-popping numbers: 16.1 points, 4.5 boards, 6.3 dimes, 1.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.3 turnovers a game. Not to mention, the guy was a second-round pick last season, so congrats to the Jazz for getting an absolute steal.
Kai Jones: Charlotte Hornets
This one is a tricky one to decipher. Jones didn’t really play in his first season with the Hornets because he was mostly with their G-League affiliate, the Swarm. Coach James Borrego didn’t really utilize his borderline lottery pick and instead opted to start Mason Plumlee at the five. Hopefully, new head coach Steve Clifford will give him a look. Jones had a fun Summer League, going for averages of 8.6 points, 6.4 boards, 0.6 dimes, 0.8 steals, two blocks and 1.4 turnovers a game. His uber-athletic game is extremely fun, but will it be enough to be a consistent rotation player?
Paul Reed: Philadelphia 76ers
Reed is entering his third year in the league. Now that Deandre Jordan and Paul Millsap are gone, Coach Doc Rivers might be forced to play one of their best young guys against his will. Reed is an extremely talented, defensive-minded four/five that can also shoot and put the ball on the floor. A jack-of-all-trades kind of player, Reed is going to be in line for regular rotation minutes behind starter Joel Embiid. Now, he probably still won’t surpass 25+ minutes a game (because Rivers doesn’t like playing young talent), but he can still make a heavy impact for this team. Hopefully, their front office sees him as a foundational piece for this club and prioritizes his development. Free Paul Reed.
Jonathan Kuminga: Golden State Warriors
Kuminga didn’t play a lot last season given the depth for Golden State. Now that they have lost a multitude of contributors from last year’s championship run, Kuminga figures to see a ton more run. The 19-year-old forward averaged some alright numbers in the Summer League: 19.2 points, 3.8 boards, three dimes, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 3.2 turnovers a game on 41% from the field, 20% from the three-point line and 47% from the line. The shooting is a work in progress, especially after going 7/18 from the line against the Spurs. The peripherals are also lacking, but he’s going to a ton of opportunities under Coach Steve Kerr.