The 2021/2022 NBA season is set to kick off on October 19, 2021, and it will mark the return of a full 82 game schedule. All 29 teams will be chasing the Milwaukee Bucks to win the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy and it will be a long and grueling season.
While fan focus will be on the best teams like the Bucks, the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics, or the top players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Kevin Durant, we can’t count out the players who are looking to have a breakout year.
That sixth man or most improved player is always key to taking their team to the next level, and we have chosen 5 players ready to have a breakout year in the 2021/2022 NBA season. Here are our 5 picks!
1. Keldon Johnson - San Antonio Spurs
Now in his third season, Keldon Johnson is coming off of a Team USA participation at the Summer Olympics and usually Olympic players see substantial increase in playing time the following year, especially after a gold medal run. With a bit more experience to call his own look for Gregg Popovich to get the most out of his power forward.
2. Devonte Graham - New Orleans Pelicans
Devonte Graham is a talented player and after a rough season with the Charlotte Hornets a change in scenery was in order. Now in New Orleans, Graham will replace Lonzo Ball and will be alongside Zion Williamson, look for these two to create a great one-two punch.
3. RJ Barrett - New York Knicks
RJ Barrett now enters his third season with the Knicks as a much-improved player, having increased his numbers in his two previous seasons. Now it’s time for the first-round draft pick to earn his keep, Barrett showed not only stat improvement but better overall awareness on the court and on a New York Knicks side who will want to improve on their quick playoff run from last year, he will be key.
4. Facundo Campazzo - Denver Nuggets
Facundo Campazzo had a feet wetting first season with the Denver Nuggets, the veteran 30-year-old has a long list of accolades from his time in Europe and injuries last season opened a lot of doors for the Argentine to showcase his talents and show he can be a team player. Campazzo now has the confidence of his teammates and coaching staff to play a bigger role for the Nuggets this season. The man won over 10 championships in his career, the Nuggets need to get more out of him.
5. Tyler Herro - Miami Heat
Now entering his third season in the NBA, Tyler Herro had an explosive first season only to match that with an equally low second season. Nonetheless Herro’s numbers were better last year, still the Heat have a much-improved roster heading into the new NBA season and may make a run for the NBA title. Herro could be a go to guy for bucket shots and could be a strong sixth man this season.