By Matthew Cunha
The Celtics and Cavs will tip off the NBA season on Tuesday, for what looks to be a fascinating season. Many big players were on the move this off season, leaving many unanswered questions heading into the season. For the Celtics, it is yet to be seen who the starters will be or how the new look team will gel. In preparation for my NBA fantasy draft, I had to find some sleepers to keep an eye on. I turned these sleepers into my 5 breakout stars for the 2017-18 NBA season.
- G, 6-6 Lonzo Ball (LA Lakers) – The 2nd overall pick has a loud father. Don’t let that take away from the offense skills and vision his son has. The 19-year-old has never let his dad bother him to this point in his career. In LA, Lonzo will be given the keys to the team, alongside a point producing center in Brook Lopez and some talented shooting guards in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jordan Clarkson. Ball’s vision is unteachable, his shooting form is something nobody would teach.
- F, 6-11 Myles Turner (Indiana) – The 21 year old averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds during his 31 minutes playing in Paul George’s shadow last season. With George getting traded to Oklahoma City, and no star prospect in the wing, Turner will shine this season. The other option on the Pacers include Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young. The 2015, 11th overall pick has the height at 6-11 and ball skills to be an elite offense force for a team in desperate need of offense.
- G, 6-5 D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn) – The former 2nd overall pick now finds himself in a situation where he can flourish. After being traded from the Lakers for Brook Lopez, D’Angelo is slated to be one of top options on the Nets. Jeremy Lin will help take some of the defensive pressure off from Russell, allowing his offensive game the opportunity to flourish. Plus, the Nets will give him full reigns to score with no incentive for the Nets to tank. The talented guard may just find his way as Isaiah did when traded to the Celtics.
- F, 6-10 Ben Simmons (Philadelphia) – The number 1 overall pick from 2016 is now healthy. The big forward can play point guard and is surrounded by several other young promising players such Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz. The Australian born point-forward still needs to develop his shooting touch, but being next to the sharpshooting JJ Reddick will help. If the young talent around him can stay just a tad more healthy than the previous few seasons in the City of Brotherly love, Simmons could run away with rookie of the year.
- F/G, 6-7 Jaylen Brown (Boston) – What can I say about this guy? It appears as though he is going to get the starting shooting guard position for the Celtics. After his strong playoff run, this guy has ever opportunity to be a stud for the green team this year. Brown can drive to the basket, play defense, and has improved his shooting ability. This guy could be a star this season.
Matthew Cunha is a producer of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.