Cade Cunningham

Picking out the 10 top breakout candidates for the 2022-23 NBA season

Home » NBA » NBA breakout candidates 2022-23: Potential breakout players this season

With the NBA regular season just around the corner, it’s time to put together our list of the top 10 NBA breakout candidates 2022-23. These young guys could wind up having All-Star caliber seasons and some of them might even get a big raise on their new contract.

NBA breakout candidates 2022-23

Some young players need more time to develop and take a step forward.

Standing out against older NBA players takes a lot of preparation, hard work, and even the right system. It goes way beyond just talent. So, considering that, let’s take a look at our top 10 NBA breakout candidates 2022-23:

10. PJ Washington

Our NBA breakout candidates 2023 list starts off with PJ Washington, which might seem like a surprise to some. However, it just makes sense, as the Charlotte Hornets will have plenty of shots to spare now that Miles Bridges may not be a part of the team going forward.

Washington was a starter before suffering an injury and being demoted to the second unit. However, his skill set is perfect next to LaMelo Ball, as he can thrive as a screener in the pick and roll, not to mention he can play both forward spots and even some small-ball center.


9. Alperen Sengun

Alperen Sengun could be one of the biggest NBA breakout stars of the season. He was quite impressive in Europe, and it only took half a season for the Houston Rockets to realize that he was their big man of the future. Playing like a poor man’s Nikola Jokic, Sengun was so good that they traded Christian Wood.

Sengun has elite footwork and can do it all on the court, at least offensively. He’s a solid passer, a nice rebounder, and a guy with a sweet touch below and above the rim. He can finish with both hands and could average close to 20-10 every night.

8. Ayo Dosunmu

Ayo Dosunmu is perhaps one of the most intriguing candidates to be one of the NBA breakout players 2023. Lonzo Ball will miss a big chunk of the season, and there’s a chance he won’t be able to suit up at all. So, he’s the prime candidate to take over as the starting PG.

Dosunmu already outplayed Coby White, and the Chicago Bulls will most likely use Goran Dragic in the second unit. He’s a streaky scorer who doesn’t need to have the ball all the time to make an impact, not to mention an underrated playmaker.

7. Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham is one of the most exciting among the NBA breakout candidates 2022-23. It took him a while due to injury, but once he established himself, he became one of the most electrifying young players in the league, even making a late run for Rookie of the Year.


Cunningham has that Grant Hill-like skill set that’s just so fun to watch. He can fill up the stat sheet on any given night, and with the Detroit Pistons expected to push the tempo in 2022-23, we expect him to have plenty of impressive stat lines next season.

6. James Wiseman

James Wiseman is one of our top NBA preseason players to watch, and for very good reason. Kevon Looney is an outstanding team player and defender, but he’s just a stopgap until Wiseman is ready to take over as their starting center.

Wiseman was once considered the best player in his class before college controversies and injuries, but he’s still young. He’s got a big, strong frame and is one of the most athletic big men in the league. Also, this will be a make-or-break season for him.

5. Bones Hyland

Don’t be shocked if Bones Hyland headlines the list of NBA breakout players next season. The Denver Nuggets are likely to roll with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the shooting guard spot while Jamal Murray takes over the starting point guard berth.

But Hyland is a better playmaker than Murray and a better scorer than KCP, so it could make sense for the Nuggets to demote the latter to the second unit, eventually. Hyland was good enough in his rookie season for the Nuggets to get rid of both Facundo Campazzo and Monte Morris.

4. De’Andre Hunter

De’Andre Hunter has been quite impressive throughout his young NBA career, but he’s struggled to stay on the court due to countless injuries. That’s why so many people have slept on him and forgotten about the fact that he was the fourth-overall pick just three years ago.

Hunter is now back to full strength and will have the best supporting cast of his career yet now that Dejounte Murray has joined the team. He’s very efficient from all three levels and potentially an elite defender who can guard one through five.

3. Anfernee Simons

Considering how well he performed last season, it’s not a surprise to see Anfernee Simons as one of the top three NBA breakout candidates 2023. He was an explosive and exciting scorer and perfectly impersonated Damian Lillard while he nursed a rib injury.

Lillard knows how to coexist with a fellow scorer in the backcourt from his days with CJ McCollum, so we expect them to hog plenty of shots next season. They could be one of the most explosive one-two backcourt punches in the Western Conference.

2. Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga comes in second place on our NBA breakout players next season list. The Golden State Warriors lost Gary Payton II, Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Otto Porter Jr., so they need someone who can step up in the frontcourt.

Kuminga is one of the most athletic players you’ll ever see. He has the potential to be a lockdown defender, and his abilities as a slasher and a cutter are tailor-made for the Dubs’ full-motion offense. He could have a Jordan Poole-ish season.

1. Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey will most likely be the best among all the potential NBA breakout stars next season.

The Philadelphia 76ers have hyped him up throughout the entire offseason, and he’s reportedly ready to take over as their second-leading scorer, even ahead of James Harden.

Maxey can play on and off the ball and has already shown great offensive expertise in his brief career. He’s got smooth handles and a nice bag of tricks, and his hesi is nearly unstoppable when he gets into a rythym. We predict him to win Most Improved Player this season.

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