Devin Vassell has been out of the spotlight for the lowly Spurs, in part due to tanking and in part due to injury. But when healthy, Vassell is one of the league’s most promising young wings. He can stifle opposing ball-handlers with his lengthy wingspan or take over games with his increasingly diverse scoring repertoire.
Anfernee Simons is a bucket, plain and simple. The Blazers invested in Simons when he was extremely young and mostly unproven, one of the few high-profile prospects in recent years to spurn both college and international basketball. Their patience has paid off. With good size for his position, Simons combines twitchy handles and dynamic shot-making with untapped potential as a defender. He’s still getting better.
Injuries have plagued the former No. 1 pick’s career to date, but we’ve seen enough from Cade Cunningham when he has played to have confidence in his trajectory long term. A jumbo-sized point guard with elite feel and the ability to make the net sing from anywhere on the court, Cunningham still has clear All-Star potential.
Tyrese Maxey’s third NBA season hasn’t been the breakout we all expected. An ill-timed injury and Doc Rivers’ confounding decision to stick him with the second unit has led to questions about his viability as the “third star” in the short term. That said, Maxey’s blinding speed on drives to the rim and above-average efficiency from deep should shine through again — sooner than later.
CJ McCollum has adjusted well to the frequently variable circumstances in New Orleans. Depending on who is and isn’t available, McCollum regularly adjusts his approach and supplies the Pelicans with just the right infusion of playmaking and shooting on offense.