The NBA season began and so far it has been what all fans expected it to be, the league is finally balanced, the “duo” era has begun, and the Warriors are 0-2. Even though the 2019-20 season is living up to the expectations that the fans have set, there have been a few pleasant surprises. There has been a handful of players that have blown their expectations out of the water and begun a campaign to make a name for themselves. Players that prior to watching them play, they were nameless to the majority of the league. With that being said, here are four rising NBA players that came out of nowhere.
Thomas Bryant (Washington Wizards)
The 42nd overall pick made by the Los Angles Lakers in 2017, Thomas Bryant has started to build his career in D.C. after being traded there after his rookie season. In his first season with the Wizards, he averaged 10ppg, 6rpg, and nearly 1bpg. While that may be a decent stat line, the Wizards finished at the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference with a 32-50 record, so Bryant has remained nameless. This season however, Bryant has turned on the burners this season and racked up 15ppg, nearly 10rpg, and 1.7bpg. He is a great asset in the pick and roll, he’s hungry on the glass, and he can step out and hit the 3, what more can you ask out of your second scoring option? Even though the Wizards are still a terrible team, Bryant has become one of very few bright spots for this franchise. In his third season, he has set out to make a name for himself and prove to the league that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
2018-19 Season Stats (Via NBA.com) GP-72 MIN-20.8 PPG-10.5 RPG-6.3 BPG-0.9
2019-20 Season Stats (Via NBA.com) GP-3 MIN-20.9 PPG-15.0 RPG-9.7 BPG-1.7
Devonte Graham (Charlotte Hornets)
We all know very well what kind of team the Hornets are. As soon as Kemba packed up and went to Boston, we all knew that the Charlotte Hornets were going to be bottom feeders in this league for a long time. However, there has been a diamond in the rough found by the Hornets, Devonte Graham. The 6’1 sharpshooter taken 34th overall in the 2018 draft has turned out to be an offensive threat as he has shown exponential growth this season. In his rookie season, he averaged 5ppg while shooting 34% from the field and 28% from 3. He has shown insane growth statistically, scoring 23.5ppg at a 62.5% clip from the field and 75% from three on 8 attempts! Graham is a crafty, efficient guard who shoot the rock, as well as make plays for his teammates. On a team that is expected to be the worst in the league, Devonte Graham looks to make a name for himself as one of the best shooters to come out of the 2018 draft class.
2018-19 Season Stats (Via NBA.com) GP-46 MIN-14.7 PPG-4.7 APG-2.6 FG%-34.3 3P%-28.1
2019-20 Season Stats (Via NBA.com) GP-2 MIN-27.6 PPG-23.5 APG-6.0 FG%-62.5 3P%-75
Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat)
Coming into the league undrafted out of Oakland University, Kendrick Nunn has been the best surprise so far this season. Nunn now holds a franchise record for most points scored in their first three games at 67 points, an amazing feat for an undrafted rookie. Nunn has gotten off to a great start, scoring 22.3 points per game at an efficient 52% from the field. He has the skill set to become an elite scorer in this league with a tough style of play, a silky smooth jumpshot, and an innate ability to finish around the rim. Nunn, along with young stars like Bam Adebayo and Justice Winslow have led this team to a 2-1 start without their superstar Jimmy Butler, an impressive feat given the young age of these players. If you haven’t tuned in already, tune in now because Kendrick Nunn is the real deal.
2019-20 Season Stats (Via NBA.com) GP-3 MIN-31.8 22.3PPG FG%-51.9 3P%-42.1 SPG-2.0
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