3 impressive NBA players who are yet to reach their prime and have vastly improved their teams' performance
Each year the NBA sees many new players. Not just rookies entering the league but also players with a completely new identity, nearly unrecognizable if you compare them to their past years' performance. It has become vital for NBA teams, therefore, to nurture these young players from an early age. They do not expect immediate results but do hope, as time goes by and the players continue to get better, they could add the right pieces to make the team championship contenders.
Ja Morant for the Grizzlies, Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier for the Hornets, Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox for the Kings, Donovan Mitchell for the Jazz are a few examples. It has also been seen as in the case of Giannis for Milwaukee the impact these players can have on the team singlehandedly.
While this year might have seen disappointment from a few teams, the rankings have seen some new faces at the top spots. Here are three such cases where players have improved their teams' performance by quite a bit this year.
#3 Pascal Siakam
There was a lot of talk as to how the Toronto Raptors would cope this season after losing not only Kawhi Leonard but also Danny Green. It is a shock to many therefore that the Raptors are in second position on the Eastern Conference standings. One big reason for that is the form of Pascal Siakam.
He sits ninth on the top scorers' list this season shooting nearly 48% from the field and 39% from behind the arc, averaging 25.1 points. That's quite an improvement, even for the Most Improved Player. Other factors that work in his favor are his great chemistry with the team (which only increases after winning a championship) and also his underrated performance which allows him to stay away from the spotlight and continuously better his game.
The Raptors gameplay is also being made by Nick Nurse to revolve around Siakam. It's hard to think of what this could have been with Kawhi still in the team but of course, Siakam, in that case, might not have had the time to become the player he is today. To top it all up, Siakam is only 3 seasons into the league and already has a ring under his belt. It will be interesting to see if he stays with the Raptors in the long run or decides to take his talents elsewhere.