By Jack Drapkin
Seth Curry – Everyone knows him as Stephen’s younger brother and rightfully so, but this may be the season where fans finally start calling him Seth. Parlaying a strong finish to last season where he averaged 14 points and four assists, on 47% shooting from deep in nine starts, into a two year six million dollar contract with the Mavs. Seth finally has an opportunity to make his mark in this league under a great coach in Rick Carlisle. With the shaky Deron Williams in the starting position ahead of him and a guard rotation consisting of the aging JJ Barea and Devin Harris, there should be playing time opportunities for Curry especially at the backup 2 guard spot.
Kelly Oubre Jr. – It still remains a mystery as to why former Wizards head coach Randy Wittman didn’t play Oubre more. However after a rocky rookie reason Oubre is positioned to become an impact player for the Wizards this season. He is currently in a position battle with Otto Porter to determine who starts but regardless of who wins the other player still figured to see heavy minutes off the bench. Oubre’s athleticism and speed make him a great pair with John Wall in the transition game and if he can knock down his open shots he becomes an even more complete player. He is already a tenacious rebounder and should be a better defender than he is due to his athleticism. Oubre’s ability to play key fourth quarter minutes will come down to his ability to stop having defensive lapses but regardless he should still be an impact rotation player for the Wizards a season after spending much of his time glued to the bench.
Jabari Parker – Jabari finished last season on a tear averaging almost 19 ppg and six rpg to go along with two assists. Many people seem to have forgotten about him after the ACL injury he suffered 30 games into his rookie season. However all signs point to a healthy Parker being ready to make a mark in this league. Since the surgery, he has appeared to be in better shape than before the injury and even seems more athletic. Preseason numbers are always taken with a grain of salt, or two or three, but still he has put up 17 points and seven rebounds in only 28 minutes per contest. Now, by no means should an All Star appearance be expected from him this season, especially with the highly touted Giannis Antetokounmpo as his teammate. However don’t be surprised if he posts near 20 points a game as the Bucks challenge for an Eastern Conference playoff birth sans Khris Middleton for much of the season.