Zion Williamson, Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray Among 10 Most Intriguing Players Next Season

The beginning of August is the NBA’s only truly off-season. All we can do right now is start looking forward with the facts we already have while we all wait for the Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell situation to resolve itself. I’ll thus identify the ten players whose 2022–23 seasons I’m most looking forward to. Despite the fact that they all have great interest, they are all for somewhat different reasons. Let’s start now.

Zion Williamson

Williamson received a five-year contract deal this summer with a guaranteed $193 million salary and a potential value of up to $231 million after appearing in just 85 games throughout his first three NBA seasons. The agreement contains a weight clause. Williamson may forfeit some of the money that is guaranteed if his weight and body fat percentage are above 295, but that risk only arises if the Pelicans waive him. If that occurs, everything will have utterly gone awry.

The Pelicans are essentially obligated to pay a player who has fought valiantly to stay on the floor a cap-crushing sum of money over the course of the next five years. They are doing it because Williamson has been practically unstoppable when he has been on the floor. His scoring output has fluctuated between being exceptional and outright historic. He has a remarkable ability to accelerate going left when everyone knows that’s where he wants to go, frequently starting a beat before the catch. Second leaps aren’t any more powerful or rapid than his.

Anyhow, a Zion scouting report is not necessary. He is amazing. And if he plays 65 to 70 games, the Pelicans may be as well. He seems like the league’s most exciting talent going into this season.

Ben Simmons

Put this in the ledger for “obvious reasons.” After the turmoil of the previous season, anticipation for Simmons’ rumoured comeback to the court is at an all-time high. Is he first mentally prepared to play? When they were down 3-0 in their playoff series against the Celtics, the Nets abandoned their hint that Simmons would come back. Was the problem only physical in nature?

Even within the Nets, I don’t think anyone really knows what to anticipate from Simmons. Simmons would not have to be the primary creator or scorer and could instead concentrate on defence, transition, cutting/rolling, and secondary creation if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving stayed in Brooklyn. But does he have the stamina to dedicate himself to such a little attacking role? So many inquiries.

Everyone will be paying careful attention in the early going if Simmons is on the floor, and I’ll be rooting for him. It’s odd of me to say that. I’ve never been a big fan of Simmons’ style of play, and like most others, I detested how he handled losing to Philadelphia. I couldn’t bear all the “I’m smarter than you” rhetoric back when everyone was gushing about how exceptional he was. I’ve changed my mind now because everyone believes he may be mediocre, especially during the playoffs. I’m now supporting him. It’s odd, but a first overall choice with a max deal has actually started to look underfavored. I enjoy that.

Jamal Murray

Murray tore his ACL in April 2021, making it over 18 months since his last NBA appearance if he plays for Denver on opening night. Personally, I’m eager to see him play once again. If Murray is successful — and especially if Michael Porter Jr. is healthy — the Nuggets will be a top-tier title contender. Murray has the potential to be one of the league’s most electric players. But how much time will Murray need to catch up? Denver doesn’t have to stress about continuity, for one reason. Murray and Nikola Jokic should essentially continue their partnership where they left off.

Chet Holmgren

We’re all going to be keeping a close eye on a few really exciting rookies, but Holmgren intrigues me the most. If you saw him play in the Summer League, you are aware of his freakish size-skill combo. Can he withstand the physicality? Do we overvalue his thin build, like we did with Kevin Durant? I’m looking forward to seeing Holmgren play off Josh Giddey’s passes and spread the floor for SGA’s drives. If he is the type of rim protector that experts claim he is, he may already be rather exceptional.

 

Shreyansh is passionate about working on challenging ideas and exploring the boundaries to pursue innovation. He is an engineering student pursuing Electronics and an NBA die hard fan. He has been following NBA since his childhood and basketball has been very close to him to get away from the noise.