NBA sophomores to watch in 2023-24: Who needs to step up?
All eyes will be on this season's NBA rookie class -- headed by No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama-- but don't sleep on a whole list of second-year players to watch.
Before we get to them, let's acknowledge the sophomores who already proved their star power. Orlando Magic forward Pablo Banchero, the 2022 top overall pick, made an immediate splash on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award and playing for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.
Utah jazz center Walker kessler and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams who both earned All-Rookie honors, also proved their quality during successful debut seasons. Meanwhile, the Thunder's Chet Holmgren will technically enter his second NBA season, but the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft remains a rookie after sitting out last season with a foot injury.
Plenty of youngsters should take another step forward in Year 2. There are also several players who need to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump, while others are already feeling the pressure after falling short of rookie expectations.
With training camp coming up, our NBA insiders look at the second-year players to keep tabs on during the season.