10 NBA players that will make the leap in 2020


There is a reason why New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep.

At the turn of the decade, many NBA players may have set goals for themselves, but there are many uncontrollable factors that can play a part. While 2019 was highlighted by Luka Doncic’s breakout play, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP season and Kawhi Leonard leading the Toronto Raptors to a championship, there was still a share of players that were not able to reach their potential.

A new year brings a fresh slate, a sometimes-necessary change for a player to take that extra step on the court. Many pieces must fall into place to create the right atmosphere for growth, spanning from a complementary roster, overcoming injuries or strong leadership.

As 2020 kicks off, many NBA players will be given new chances to impress. Here are 10 players that, under the right circumstances, can make the leap in the new year.

Zion Williamson — New Orleans Pelicans

With a reported projected return to the court in January, Zion Williamson may soon make his NBA debut. The No. 1 overall pick’s return has been long-awaited, but what to expect from the rookie may be up in the air after his extended absence. The Pelicans will likely ease Williamson into his return, as they have done thus far with his rehab (and since the team is not in contention). Williamson will then have time to find his footing, and once he does, his ceiling can only go up in 2020. If he can avoid further injury, Williamson is set to finally show his NBA potential.

Deandre Ayton — Phoenix Suns

A former first overall pick, Deandre Ayton has shown flashes of his potential, but a PED suspension and injuries have held him back from the opportunity to step up in his sophomore season. After a strong rookie year in 2018-19 from Ayton, where he averaged a double-double (16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds over 71 games) and was named to the All-Rookie team, the center was suspended for 25 games after testing positive for a diuretic. With an ankle injury becoming the latest issue, Ayton has played in just four games during the 2019-20 season but may finally be past his shortcomings and ready to get back into the regular rotation. Ayton has the frame and strength to take the next step as a player, and if he can become more of a shooting threat in 2020, he can be primed for a big jump. The sophomore just needs further focus after his 2019 ended with distractions.


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