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15 Players Whose Best Is Yet To Come in the NBA

NBA Players Whose Best Is Yet To Come

NBA Rising Stars Andre Drummond
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is in an era that is full of all-time talent. This includes veterans as well as young players who are ready to take that next step. These 15 players have all shown something, but their best is yet to come.

15. Greg Oden

Greg Oden Miami Heat
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

15. Greg Oden

Greg Oden Miami Heat
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I get it. Greg Oden should live in a bubble, because mere contact with the outside world causes his knees to crumble. But in a very limited role with the Miami Heat last year, Oden was able to play, and to do so without breaking. Oden still has a chance to be good.

14. Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill Los Angeles Lakers
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

14. Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill Los Angeles Lakers
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Jordan Hill saw career high numbers in minutes (20.8), which led to career highs in points (9.7) and rebounds (7.4). At that efficient rate, Hill grabbed a rebound every 2.8 minutes. For comparison, DeAndre Jordan, the league's rebounding leader, grabbed a board every 2.5 minutes. In fact, he even led Kevin Love in rebounds per 48 minutes. If given real playing time, Hill could provide solid production for the Los Angeles Lakers.

13. Kendall Marshall

Kendall Marshall Los Angeles Lakers
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

13. Kendall Marshall

Kendall Marshall Los Angeles Lakers
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers' release of third-year player Kendall Marshall was not a good idea. A team that is in desperate need of a point guard for the future had one. The 6-foot-4 point guard averaged just less than nine assists in fewer than 30 minutes. Marshall has naturally phenomenal court vision and is unselfish. Plus, he shot 40 percent from downtown last year. He’ll have a solid NBA career.

12. Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert New York Knicks
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

12. Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert New York Knicks
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert has all the tools to be an NBA star. In his short career, he’s shown flashes of brilliance followed by long periods of less than brilliant. He’s one of the league’s better wing defenders, a superior athlete and has the versatility to play and guard three positions on the floor. Expect Phil Jackson to have a major role in Shumpert’s development.

11. Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger Boston Celtics
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

11. Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger Boston Celtics
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Any time you see a player’s stats jump seven points and two rebounds in one year, you know something clicked. Sure, Jared Sullinger’s minutes increased, but that’s not the only reason his PPG more than doubled. Sully is quickly reminding us why the Celtics used a first-round pick on him. He’s more than capable of being a 20-point, 10-rebound player.

10. Trey Burke

Trey Burke Utah Jazz
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

10. Trey Burke

Trey Burke Utah Jazz
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

In his rookie campaign, Trey Burke was instantly handed the keys to the Utah Jazz offense. Receiving 32 minutes per game as a rookie shows that the Jazz are fully invested in him. The most impressive part of Burke’s first year was his decision making. Playing so many minutes while giving up less than two turnovers a game is promising. Expect the arrival of Dante Exum to only help Burke reach his potential.

9. Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. New York Knicks
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

9. Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. New York Knicks
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Expect Tim Hardaway Jr. to be one of the more promising young players moving forward. As a rookie, he found an instant role and has emerged as a great young shooter. At the 2014 Rising Stars challenge, Hardaway Jr. showed up and showed out, leading all players with 34 points. He possesses in-the-gym range and is a freak athlete. Teams should keep him on their radar because he’s only getting better.

8. DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan Los Angeles Clippers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

8. DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan Los Angeles Clippers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, DeAndre Jordan emerged and led the league in rebounds and was third in blocked shots. He’s already played six years in the league, but I don’t think anyone, including himself, knows just how good he can be. It sounds crazy, but purely in terms of stats, we could be looking at Bill Russell 2.0.

7. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

7. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The most frustrating player in basketball. With Kawhi Leonard’s skill set, he should be so much better than he is now. With the Big 3 in San Antonio getting older, expect Gregg Popovich to rely on the fourth-year player a little more. In the postseason, Leonard received more minutes, and if he could get that kind of playing time in the regular season, the league would finally be given the gift of watching this kid emerge.

6. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal Washington Wizards
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

6. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal Washington Wizards
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal can flat out score. Playing for a team lacking in guard-depth, Beal has one of the greenest lights in the NBA, and for good reason. As the former Gator gets accustomed to the NBA, he’s only going to get better. He took the 36th most three-pointers last season, but was tied for 20th in terms of percentage. When his volume goes up, so will his numbers. He’s a good one.

5. DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

5. DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, DeMar DeRozan was quietly one of the best players in the league. He played more minutes than anyone not named Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler or Kevin Durant. As Chris Bosh knows all too well, while playing in Toronto, you are given the chance to be the best statistical player you can be. DeRozan is a rare bright spot on that Raptors team and has full control over what he wants to do with that offense. Star on the rise.

4. Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams Washington Wizards
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

4. Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams Washington Wizards
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

What Michael Carter-Williams did in his rookie year was ridiculous. In his first regular season game, MCW messed around and almost got a quadruple-double. Yes, quadruple, you read that right. In year two, with a little more feel for the NBA, and a few less turnovers, those numbers will only get better. At 6-foot-6, he’s already the best rebounding point guard, and we know he can pass. He’s a future STAR.

3. Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is struggling to find true, prototypical big men. Andre Drummond is here to help them out a little bit. It’s only a matter of time until he emerges as the league’s best center. At just 21 years old, he already has a great feel for the game and keeps getting better. As a rookie, he averaged seven points and seven rebounds. Last year: 13 and 13. Next year: how does 16 and 16 sound?

2. Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

2. Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose has not scratched the surface yet. After five seasons, he’s really only played three of them. Each year, he saw a significant boost in production, especially from his second to third year. His points, assists, three-point and free-throw percentages all skyrocketed that year. Because of that, his game was elevating to new heights before his setbacks. Once healthy, not only will he be back, but he’ll continue his progression.

1. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What can’t Anthony Davis do? Coming into the NBA, he was surrounded by questions of whether or not he’d be as good as he was in college. Two years into the NBA, he’s nowhere near his college level of play. He’s way above it! In two years, The Unibrow will be the best player in the NBA not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant, and oh yeah, he’ll still only be 23. His potential is limitless.

Chris Lehman is a New Orleans Saints Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBreezy91, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google