Here are my four breakout candidates for the 2022-23 season. I broke them down into four categories: star, scorer, role player, and defender. Love it? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter @taylormetrics
Breakout Star: Franz Wagner
Franz has had a fantastic start to his career and looks like a true building block for the Magic heading into his 3rd season. He already looks like a legit 3-level scorer. He had an A grade in our 3PT Shooting Talent, Midrange Talent, and Finishing Talent (these adjust for shot making, quality, and creation) last season. On defense, he was a slight positive in our Wing Stopper role. So we have a two-way 22-year-old 6’9 forward who can score from anywhere. That’s a pretty good jumping-off point for a guy becoming a star. A prop bet of him snagging an All Star slot may not be a bad gamble.
(Franz Wagner’s Shooting Talent grades relative to the rest of the league, via our Skills App)
Breakout Scorer: Cam Thomas
You may remember last February when Cam Thomas rattled off 3 straight 40-point games. Pretty hard to ignore that type of production. A deeper dive into the metrics reveals that he had the number one Half Court Shooting Talent (Shooting that adjusts for shot making, quality, and creation) among all second-year players last season. His midrange game in particular looks silky smooth. The Nets have decent talent but not much in the way of on-ball scoring. Opportunity and situation are extremely important in the NBA and things look to be lining up quite nicely for Cam to help win some fantasy leagues this year.
(Cam Thomas’ Half Court Shooting Talent relative to other second year players, via our Headshot Tool)
Breakout Role Player: Josh Okogie
Like Cam Thomas, Josh Okogie has found himself in a very good situation. The Suns big 3 have the firepower to allow a non-shooter like Okogie to get more minutes. He was great last year as a point of attack defender boasting an *A- grade in our Perimeter Isolation Defense metric and an *A grade in our Defensive Playmaking. On offense, his complementary skills should mesh well with his more ball-dominant teammates. He was the best offensive rebounding guard in the league last season and is a great ball mover. There are going to be quite a few nationally televised games where the Suns blow out their opponent and Doris Burke spends the 4th quarter singing Okogie’s praises for being the team’s glue guy.
*Grades filtered down to rotation on-ball defenders
(Okogie’s Offensive Rebounding Talent relative to other guards, Via our Year By Year Tool)
Breakout Defender: Isaiah Jackson
Isaiah Jackson is relatively unknown at this point in his career. He’s a backup big on the Pacers who’s only averaged 16 minutes a game over his first two years. He’s also stuck behind Myles Turner on the depth chart, so why is he on this list? He was 4th in Blocks/75 last season and had an A in Defensive Playmaking among rotation players. Those are pretty shocking numbers for a guy barely in the rotation. Myles Turner has not been the most durable player over the last few seasons so an opportunity might present itself for Jackson.
(Isaiah Jackson’s Defensive Playmaking relative to the rest of the league, via our Headshot Tool)