LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07:  Kevin Knox #20 of the New York Knicks drives against John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

5 NBA Rookies Primed to Be Breakout Stars

Cover Photo: Sam Wasson/Getty Images


Every team heads into June looking for the steal of the NBA Draft. The guy that might not go No. 1 overall, but could ultimately turn out as the draft's best player. The Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell is definitely that guy from last year. While his stats are comparable to other rookies and will probably have similarly successful careers, Mitchell was taken later than the Jason Tatum's of the world, making him more of a steal.


Here are five guys that could make a similar impact this season.

5. Aaron Holiday, PG, Indiana Pacers

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Aaron Holiday, like every player on this list, was drafted into a great situation. Sure, he's third on the depth chart going into training camp, but make no mistake about it, he was drafted to be the Pacers' point guard of the future. And that future could come sooner than you think. 


Darren Collison is a solid starter and a fantastic mentor for Holiday. If he can teach Holiday to pair his athleticism with Collison's basketball IQ and poise, the rookie could turn into a very dangerous point guard at some point this year.

4. Grayson Allen, SG, Utah Jazz

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Grayson Allen is joining the same team as Mitchell and could play right alongside him to start the season. Allen is a versatile player who started at point guard, shooting guard and small forward in his time at Duke. This should provide him more minutes than other rookies who can play only one or two positions. Allen could fill into that Gordon Hayward role nicely as the season progresses.

3. Lonnie Walker, SG, San Antonio Spurs

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Lonnie Walker was an exciting prospect coming out of the University of Miami in the 2018 draft. Some thought he could creep into the Top 10, but after slipping to No. 18, the Spurs and super-mentor/coach Gregg Popovich nabbed the guard, putting him in an immediate situation to succeed. He's got athleticism through the roof and could end up starting at shooting guard for the Spurs, if he shows enough promise early on.


Being paired with DeMar DeRozan should help him immensely too. Similar to Mitchell last season, Walker's athleticism is what could make him a huge star. It's just a matter of how long it takes him to polish the rest of his game under the guidance of one of the best coaches in the league.

2. Kevin Knox, SF, New York Knicks

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Kevin Knox was one of the more, if not the most, impressive rookie in the Vegas Summer League. He walks into a rebuilding Knicks team for which he will most likely start right out of the gate. Due to the injury of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, Knox will be flushed with potential touches and is even being talked about in the Rookie-of-the-Year conversation. Knox makes this list for a number of reasons, but mainly due to pure opportunity.

1. Luka Doncic, SG, Dallas Mavericks

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Luka Doncic looked fantastic in the Mavericks' first preseason game. Most doubts about his talent was washed away -- not that there ever should have been much anyway. Doncic may very well end up being the best player in this entire draft class. He will get plenty of burn this year and is considered the franchise's new cornerstone as they move out of the Dirk Nowitzki era and into the Doncic era.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.