D'Angelo Russell.

Five sophomores to take the NBA by storm next season

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D'Angelo Russell

If you've been watching Summer League basketball, you will know that D'Angelo Russell means business. The point guard struggled at times throughout his rookie campaign, often being held back by former head coach Byron Scott or not making the most of his opportunity.

He averaged 13.2 points and 3.3 assists while shooting 41 percent from the field in his 80 games. With the Lakers team being built around the young trio of Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, it is the perfect environment for him to develop.

He will have learned a lot from Kobe Bryant, his participation in the USA select team will be a great lesson and he will come back for next season a much better player.

Myles Turner

At just 19 years of age, the Indiana Pacers man has the NBA world in the palm of his hands. Working alongside Paul George, he really developed his game as the season went on, averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per 22.8 minutes on the hardwood.

With the experience of Al Jefferson coming on board from the Charlotte Hornets, he will have a veteran center mentoring him through his second year in the NBA. Of course, playing with George will help any player, and he will continue to bring the best out of Turner.

Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker

Already a primary threat with the Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker showcased his sharpshooting with six 30+ point games during his rookie season, finishing the campaign on an average of 13.8 points while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from behind the arc.

The Suns are a young franchise on the rebuild and they will rely heavily on the impact of their sophomore star. If Booker has a big season, then so will Phoenix.

Justise Winslow

His offensive production was low last season, averaging just 6.4 points while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, but it is the stats that don't show up on your average box sheet that make Winslow a huge part of Miami's game plan. He provided energy and defence off the bench. His 42.7 defensive FG percentage was the best from any rookie wing.

With Joe Johnson and Luol Deng both moving on, the opportunity is there for the small forward to really establish himself with the Heat. His offensive output will have to improve, but time on the floor will certainly allow him to develop while his defence will be invaluable.

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

Emmanuel Mudiay

The Denver Nuggets sophomore has all the physical attributes that NBA teams are looking for in a point guard. At 6'5" and 200lbs, he has the ability to be an explosive threat at the one spot. He averaged 12.8 points while shooting below 40 percent, showcasing a real explosiveness at the rim but an inability to hit a jumper.

His court awareness was also impressive as he averaged 5.5 dimes a game, and the lack of competition at the one spot in Denver will only see him develop further. It could be a big year for Mudiay, but he needs to improve on his shot selection.

LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Phoenix Suns
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Denver Nuggets
Northwest Division

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