The NBA is a cruel business. Most second-round picks are out of the league after a couple of seasons, and even lottery picks might find themselves at the bottom of the rotation. That's why constant improvement is a must if you're a young player trying to make a living there.
Of course, growing pains are typical among young hoopers. Rookies tend to hit a wall at some point in the season and then regress, mainly because their bodies aren't used to the physical burden of an entire 82-game NBA season.
That's why several players need a year before taking a leap forward. They need to bulk up, get a hold of a new offensive and defensive schemes, and watch hours of film before bringing out the best of their game. With that in mind, let's take a look at three young players ready to break out in their second season.
NBA News: 3 Players Ready To Break Out In Their Second Year
3. Joshua Primo
With the San Antonio Spurs looking to tank in 2022-23, Joshua Primo should get as many offensive touches as he can handle. Doug McDermott is a prime trade candidate, so he should have no trouble logging big minutes at the small forward spot.
Primo is a great shooter with the potential to be a 50/40/90 scorer at the NBA level. He may not be an explosive athlete, but he is a good-enough defender, slasher, and shooter to thrive in Gregg Popovich's old-school system.
2. Alperen Sengun
Alperen Sengun will start at center for the Houston Rockets after spending one season backing up Christian Wood. And even on limited minutes, the Turkish big man showed glimpses of greatness as a low-post scoring threat and playmaker.
The Rockets won't win many games next season, but they'll still be must-watch television. Jabari Smith will counter Sengun's defensive flaws, and he should be a nightly threat to score 20+ with 10+ rebounds. He's a flashy passer that'll make them quite fun.
1. Jonathan Kuminga
The Golden State Warriors lost three key defenders in Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. On the flip side, that means Jonathan Kuminga will get a massive boost in minutes, and he's already shown the potential of being an elite two-way player.
Kuminga is a gifted athlete and switchable defender who can guard multiple positions. He can score from all three levels and should get plenty of wide-open looks in Steve Kerr's motion offense. The Warriors want to keep the dynasty alive, and Kuminga will play a vital role in that.