Scoring is one of the most important things any player needs to do in order to be considered an All-Star, especially considering how much modern basketball has changed from the good old days.
Even if you don’t play much defense at all, you’re going to be at the top of the MVP race if your team fares well and you’re lighting it up on a nightly basis. And with all teams featuring an uptempo offense, we’re bound to watch a lot of huge scoring totals for this upcoming campaign.
Players always have something to prove, and regardless of if their teams succeed or not, some of them would just hog shot after shot to try and demonstrate they’re better than their rivals. That’s why today, we’re going to predict the top 10 scorers for the next season.
Donovan Mitchell: 24.0 PPG
Donovan Mitchell may have been snubbed from the Rookie of the Year award, but he’s keen to come back even better during his sophomore season, now that he’s got the motivation to prove that he’s a star already.
Mitchell is a versatile scorer that can consistently shoot from all three levels and the Utah Jazz don’t feature much shooting in their ranks, so he’s going to have to carry most of the offensive load this season.
Victor Oladipo: 24.5 PPG
The defending Most Improved Player of the year finally broke out. Oladipo made huge strides in both ends of the hardwood and is finally looking like a perennial All-Star and the Pacers’ ultimate go-to-guy.
Oladipo isn’t the best shooter but definitely knows how to find his sweet spots. His athleticism and strength make him a great driver, and he’s only going to get better and better now that he finally has the chance to grow.
10. Kawhi Leonard 25.5 PPG
Kawhi Leonard has earned a lot of detractors for the way he poorly mishandled all the situation with the San Antonio Spurs and considering the fact that he’s coming off sitting out for most of the season, it’s going to take him a while to find his stroke back.
Even so, with him being the focal point of the Toronto Raptors offense, he’s going to have huge scoring performances for sure, especially considering he’s only gotten better as a shooter as years go by.
9. DeMar DeRozan: 25.7 PPG
DeMar DeRozan is clearly hurt by the way the Toronto Raptors betrayed him and traded him away for a one year rental of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, and that motivation will make him work even harder this year.
DeRozan is a much more gifted scorer than LaMarcus Aldridge and he’s set to be the Spurs’ next go-to-guy, and if anyone can find the way to make a player thrive in the offensive end, that’s Gregg Popovich.
8. Devin Booker: 25.9 PPG
The Phoenix Suns are not going to compete at all, but Devin Booker is reportedly going to do whatever it takes to lead them to the playoffs, even if that means carrying most of the offensive load.
Booker is already an elite scorer and one of the most crafty offensive players in the league, and now that he’s more mature and will have a much better support cast next to him, and with defenses doubling Ayton in the post, he’s going to have a lot of wide-open looks for sure.
7. LeBron James: 26.7 PPG
We actually believe LeBron’s numbers are going to take a major dip this season, as he won’t be asked to do it all as he was used to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers now that he’s going to have a much-improved support cast.
James knows how to share the wealth and with the young studs next to him, he’s not going to have those huge scoring outbursts he usually did. Still, expect him to score over 26 points per game as he’s done throughout his career.
6. Damian Lillard: 27.0 PPG
Damian Lillard is going to have to do a lot of things in the offensive end if the Portland Trail Blazers are going to have a slight shot at contending this season, and even though they’re likely to struggle for most of the campaign, he’s going to be their primary scoring option.
Lillard can score in bunches and is one of the clutchest players in the world, and he looks keen and determined to prove the world that he’s also an elite point guard that should get more praise than he gets right now.
5. Kevin Durant: 28.3 PPG
Kevin Durant is a walking Hall of Famer and arguably a top 5 scorer in the history of the game. He has handles like a guard, the height of a big man, and the shooting stroke of the greatest small forwards ever.
Durant is versatile, agile and a crafty scorer, and there’s virtually no way of stopping the guy. Also, playing for the greatest team in the history of the game is going to make things even easier for him.
4. James Harden: 28.5 PPG
James Harden is finally coming off an MVP season and even though he struck out when trying to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, he proved that he’s on the pinnacle of his career and is not going to slow down any time soon.
Even amid Carmelo Anthony’s arrival to the Houston Rockets, Harden is going to have as many touches as he wants in the offensive end of the floor. Melo’s presence and Paul’s playmaking will get him thousands of wide open looks.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 30.0 PPG
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the worse shooters from three-point territory, he’s still one of the most dominant scorers in the league due to his strength, speed and incredible athleticism.
He’s gained a lot of muscle over the offseason and is bound to take the Milwaukee Bucks to playoff contention, so expect him to have yet another monster season and be among the top 3 in MVP voting.
2. Anthony Davis: 30.0 PPG
Anthony Davis has been having MVP caliber seasons year after year but never manages to get his hands on the award. Now that he’s once again without DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans are going to build their offense through him for sure.
Davis has the ability to embarrass most big men due to his guard-like handles, athleticism and even sweet shooting stroke, so expect him to have yet another season averaging over 25 points and 10 rebounds a game.
1. Russell Westbrook: 30.3 PPG
Russell Westbrook may not average a triple-double for the third straight season, but he’s still going to find the way to create buzz and put his name among the MVP candidates even if the Thunder isn’t able to succeed.
We all know what Westbrook is capable of and now that he doesn’t have Carmelo Anthony taking shots away from him, expect the Brodie to hog (and brick) shot after shot en route to a Scoring Title and a 1st round playoff exit.