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Top three players for each Northwest Division franchise

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Oklahoma City Thunder 

There is only one true superstar in Oklahoma now, and he goes by the name of Russell Westbrook. The point guard is expected to have an MVP-calibre season now Kevin Durant is with the Golden State Warriors. 

The two-time All-Star Game MVP is already a triple-double machine and led the NBA in stats sheet stuffs last season, finishing five ahead of Draymond Green on 18. 

Center Steven Adams established himself as a fantastic front court presence in the playoffs and Victor Oladipo is a strong acquisition following his growth with the Orlando Magic. 

1) Russell Westbrook 2) Steven Adams 3) Victor Oladipo 

Utah Jazz

The Jazz are a team full of good players but without any real superstars. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert have a strong case after their individual exploits in 2015/16 but the accolade goes to Gordon Hayward. 

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers

He played an average of 36.2 minutes per game last season and led Utah in points per game at 19.7. Shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from three, he has a brilliant base to build off for next season.

The Jazz are expected to finally break into the playoffs next season and much of the pressure will land at the feet of the 26-year-old. He will need more of his high-scoring nights, like the 36 and 34 he scored against Chicago and Miami respectively. 

1) Gordon Hayward 2) Derrick Favors 3) Rudy Gobert

Denver Nuggets 

The Denver Nuggets have a number of young players at their disposal and can expect another season of building as they battle in a stacked Western Conference. Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari offer experience but their key piece is young center Nikola Jokic.

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Selecting him as their best player is a big call, especially when he will be sharing court time with Jusuf Nurkic, but the sophomore really grew into the NBA as the season went on.

He averaged 10 points - shooting and effective field goal percentage of 53.5 - while also pulling down seven rebounds. A 21.5 PER points to a play with a lot to build around moving forward.

1) Nikola Jokic 2) Kenneth Faried 3) Danilo Gallinari

Minnesota Timberwolves

The future face of the NBA is leading the Minnesota Timberwolves into an exciting new era. Karl-Anthony Towns, the first unanimous Rookie of the Year winner in history, has a huge future in the game but is already touching superstar level. 

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets

A double-double of 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds go down as one of the best rookie seasons in recent history and it is no surprise the future championship hopes of the franchise rest solely on his shoulders. 

Andrew Wiggins is fast developing into a future All-Star and is also a former Rookie of the Year while Zach LaVine is developing his game, but point guard Ricky Rubio has been consistent since entering the league and his 8.7 assists and 10.1 points show the signs of a player who is vital in bringing his teammates to the fore. 

1) Karl-Anthony Towns 2) Ricky Rubio 3) Andrew Wiggins

Portland Trail Blazers 

Damian Lillard is the undoubted in Portland. The former Rookie of the Year produced a stellar season and was once again the biggest snub at All-Star weekend. 

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

His absence at the event in Toronto only proved to inspire him as he finished the campaign with 25.3 points per game and 6.9 assists. He produced four 40 plus games and scored 51 in a one-man demolition of the Golden State Warriors.

Most Improved Player C.J. McCollum had a fantastic campaign and expectations are high for the shooting guard this year while Mason Plumlee is also a fantastic option at the five spot with a 17.2 PER from last season.

1) Damian Lillard 2) C.J. McCollum 3) Mason Plumlee 

Topics:
Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers
Northwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Gordon Hayward
Utah Jazz
Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Jokic
Denver Nuggets
Oklahoma City Thunder
Karl-Anthony Towns
Russell Westbrook

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