Prior to entering the league, some players tend to draw a lot of attention due to their upside and so called projected ability to make the adjustment to the NBA, but after a couple of disappointing seasons, it feels like people just tend to forget about them and move on to hype another youngster.
Some young players have failed to impress over the first couple of years, either due to injury, a small role, changes in their coaching staff or simply because they weren’t that good to begin with.
Even so, most of them are still pretty young and are still more than capable of turning things around and proving that they’re worthy of another shot. Today, we’ll let you know about 5 prospects that everybody forgot about, but that could still step up.
5. Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield was a walking bucket during his NCAA tenure, drawing a lot of comparisons with volume scorers of the likes of James Harden, but is yet to prove that he’s got what it takes to consistently send the rock to the bottom of the net in the NBA.
And now that he’s set to have the green light with the Sacramento Kings and shouldn’t have much pressure on his shoulders, the 3rd year youngster is likely to significantly improve his career averages of 12 points on 43% shooting and 41% from three.
4. Stanley Johnson
Early on, Stanley Johnson looked like one of the biggest steals of the Draft and as if he was set to dominate the league the way Donovan Mitchell did the prior campaign, but so far, that hasn’t happened.
Johnson has the upside to be one of the best two-way players in the league but needs to put a lot of work on his jump shot, or you know, at least try to shoot every now and then. So far, he’s averaged just 7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.9 steals per game.
3. Dante Exum
Not so long ago, everybody was jumping aboard of the Dante Exum train, as the foreign guard had the upside to become one of the league’s top-tier defenders and playmakers, but an injury-riddled career has really stalled his development.
Moreover, he’s got to compete with Ricky Rubio for the starting playmaking duties at Utah, a battle that looks, by all means, lost. Still, the upside’s there and he should be able to easily improve his 2.2 assists per game average any time soon.
2. Jonathan Isaac
Jonathan Isaac makes this list not because he was a disappointment, but because of the fact that he was one of everybody’s favorite prospects and people seem to have forgotten about the young forward.
Isaac can help the Magic have one of the most hard-nosed defensive frontcourts in the league alongside Aaron Gordon and Mo Bamba, so hopefully he’ll be fully healthy next season to improve his rookie averages of 5.4 points on just 27 appearances.
1. Justise Winslow
When the Miami Heat drafted Justise Winslow, everybody thought Pat Riley had just landed a major steal and perhaps the best player of his class, but he’s failed to take a step forward in his development entering his 4th season.
Winslow is already a defensive stud and outstanding wing stopper but hasn’t improved in the offensive end of the floor a single bit. Posting career averages of 7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 dimes per game, he should only get better going forward.