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Second-Year NBA Players Who Won't Break Out

Every NBA player enters the league with high hopes, but not every player ends up fulfilling those hopes.

Year two is an important one when it comes to player development. If someone's going to sustain a long NBA career, they have to start showing something in that second season or it becomes an even more uphill battle towards making it.

Let's look at three NBA lottery picks from 2019 who aren't going to have breakout campaigns in their second NBA seasons.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Rui Hachimura - F, Washington Wizards

I know there are a lot of people who are high on Rui, but I just don't see it.

Coming into the league, there were knocks on Hachimura's shooting range and his defensive ability. And after a rookie year in which he shot 28.7 from deep and had a defensive Player Impact Plus/Minus of -1.62, both of those things remain issues heading into this new season.

From a fantasy perspective, Hachimura -- who took 11.4 shot attempts per game as a rookie -- should be fine just based on volume, but there are plenty of troubling signs underneath the raw production he might have as a scorer.

For example, he scored in the 32nd percentile among NBA players on spot ups. Considering he used more possessions via spot up than any other play type, that's not good!

Rui also struggled in post ups and in pick-and-rolls, more things that you'd like a starting four to be better at. His only really strong play type was isolation, but you probably don't want your fourth-best offensive starter to be using up possessions in isolation, right?

There's just a ton of things that Hachimura is going to need to improve at, and it seems like there might just be too many things that he has to improve at. The Wizards also drafted a prospect who I like more, Deni Avdija. Avdija doesn't have the same shooting limitations that Hachimura has, and I think that's going to lead to him getting plenty of minutes.

I will say that of the three players profiled in this article, Hachimura is the one I feel has the best chance of being good. But the amount of questions I have outweigh the positives.

 

Cam Reddish - F, Atlanta Hawks

Reddish played 58 games last year for the Hawks, starting 34 of them. But with the team adding Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari this offseason, the path for Reddish to improve on last year's numbers have gotten smaller, especially if/when De'Andre Hunter beats him out for the starting role.

Last year, Reddish shot 38.4 percent from the field. He scored in the 23rd percentile overall among NBA players, with Synergy rating him as average or below average in all the play types he used on 10 percent or more of his possessions. He shot 32.9 percent on all jump shots. He rated in the 15th percentile in PPP around the basket. The 21st percentile on unguarded catch-and-shoots.

The one thing that seems encouraging from his rookie numbers as a medium range jumper -- between 17 feet and the three-point line -- that rated in the 66th percentile. But if the main positive you had was mid-range shooting in the year 2020, that's...not great!

He also rated outside of the top 400 NBA players in true shooting percentage, another bad sign for his development.

Reddish still has some upside, but on a Hawks team that is suddenly positioning itself for a playoff spot, it's really hard to see where the minutes needed for improvement comes from.

 

Romeo Langford - G, Boston Celtics

Langford won't be ready for the start of training camp with a wrist injury, but we don't know yet if he'll be available when the season itself tips off.

Not that there's going to be many minutes for him once he's back. Kemba Walker looks he'll miss some regular season time with a knee injury, but veteran Jeff Teague will likely man the point until he returns. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown will both play lots of minutes at the two and the three, leaving little room behind them. Add in Aaron Nesmith, who it seems a lot of people are excited by, and that Jayson Tatum will play the three plenty too even if he starts at the four, and you don't get a ton of minutes for Langford.

Langford only averaged 11.6 minutes per game last season, shooting 35 percent from the field and 18.5 percent from three. He scored 2.5 points per game.

Boston just isn't the place for a young wing to find success, and Langford missing training camp isn't going to help things. Maybe he can carve out a role with 15 minutes or so per game when healthy and maybe he can get some run as the backup point guard until Walker is back, but there's not a scenario unless things go terribly wrong for the Celtics that sees Langford have fantasy value this season.

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