The NBA's restart in Orlando is going to pull the magnifying glass over the 22 teams that were invited. There should be great TV ratings as sports fans welcome basketball back for the first time since March.
With all the extra attention, some guys are going to make a name for themselves. Here are some young and talented players to watch...
Brandon Clarke, Grizzlies
Plenty of people already know about Clarke. He is likely to be first-team All-Rookie this season after averaging 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds with a 64.8 effective field goal percentage. He has also thrown down some ridiculous dunks. But in Orlando, the young Grizzlies could raise their profile especially if they hold onto the eighth-seed and play the Lakers in the first round. Clarke, along with Ja Morant, stands to gain a lot from the exposure.
In some respects, Bol has already broken out in Orlando. He was a star of the exhibition schedule, averaging 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. But Bol has yet to play an actual, regular season NBA game. And he's also on a team with championship aspirations. How much he will play is unclear, but when he does play it is definitely going to be something to watch. He is 7-foot-2 and can dribble and shoot. Everyone loves unicorns.
Zach Collins, Blazers
The 10th overall pick in 2017, Collins looked ready for a breakout season earlier in the 2019-20 campaign before he had shoulder surgery. Now he is back and hoping to help change the Blazers' fortune after what has been a cruelly disappointing season for them so far. Collins is a rangy big man who can block shots and step out to make threes. Damian Lillard famously said Collins has the potential to be a defensive player of the year. Maybe he can start backing that up in Orlando.
Troy Brown Jr., Wizards
The Wizards have a few candidates for this, including Isaac Bonga who has been a standout so far through three exhibition games. But what Bonga does best isn't likely to draw widespread attention. Brown isn't flashy, either, but he appears poised to have a strong showing and may go viral a few times with his passing. Brown will get his best opportunity yet to show what he can do with primary ball-handlers like John Wall and Bradley Beal out of the mix.
Troy Brown Jr. can pass, y'all. pic.twitter.com/Q8yzUm2MmS— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) January 23, 2020
T.J. Warren, Pacers
Warren has arguably become one of the most underrated players in the league. He has long been able to score, but was lost in obscurity while playing for the Phoenix Suns and while profiling as a sort of archaic player who at first couldn't shoot. Well, now he makes threes and now he plays for a really good Pacers team. This year, his first in Indiana, Warren is averaging 18.7 points and 4.0 rebounds with a 56.9 eFG%. If he carries that production into the playoffs, many more people will know his name.
Donte DiVincenzo, Bucks
Based on minutes per game, DiVincenzo is the Bucks' sixth man. He has even started 22 games and has played well, averaging 9.4, 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals while carrying a 54.6 eFG%. But DiVincenzo hasn't really had the opportunity to shine yet on the biggest stage. He was a bit player for the Bucks last season, but this year should be seen plenty as one of the key supporting cast members on a potential title team.
Donte DiVincenzo working hard on both ends of the court for your Heads Up Play of the Day! pic.twitter.com/8FghJKQsZ8— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 2, 2019
Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS:
- Five takeaways: Troy Brown Jr. returns vs. Lakers
- 100 percent healthy: Thomas Bryant
- Mr. Positive: Bonga standing out in Orlando