Here, I give the lowdown on two top young players who could be set to take over the NBA...
Jared Sullinger – Boston Celtics
The 21st pick in the 2012 draft started slow in his rookie year and sustained a back injury in February which ended his season. But he has really come alive this season, with 13.1 ppg and 8.3 rpg in about 27 minutes.
Even more impressive than that is his numbers per 48 minutes. These numbers really tell the story of a rapidly-improving young center. If we extend his numbers to the 48 then his scoring jumps to 23.1 ppg and his rebounding to 14.6 per game which is top 20 in the league.
That is really incredible for a undersized center seeing as he has to bump down low with seven-footers night in and night out. All that and he also as a good shooting touch; 77% from the line and he hits roughly a three a night.
In order to continue to improve he must learn to get to the line more and develop a better defensive presence by working on his blocking ability. Sullinger is still a work in progress but is showing signs of becoming an elite big man.
Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons
Nobody really talked about Drummond last year despite the fact that he was 10th in rebounding per 48 minutes. That was truly impressive for a rookie center and yet somehow he’s come out and topped that this season.
He is currently third in rebounding with 12.8 and first in rebounds per 48. He has also almost doubled his scoring output from last year in only 10 more minutes. He has also become a terrific defender in the paint with 1.8 bpg and 1.4 spg.
He is shooting over 60% from the field but only 40% from the free-throw line. Although he is getting to the line more this season than last he needs to find a workable stroke to get his number up to at least 60%.
Drummond is only 20-years-old and is the best rebounder in the league and is set to become a truly elite-rim protector. There is so much more to come for him as his scoring continues to develop, the sky is truly the limit.
Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto
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