Players to Watch This Season: West Coast Edition

Updated: September 26, 2021

This is a list of players I am most excited to watch this upcoming season for each team. It is not who is the best player for a team per se, just a player who is drawing me into watching their franchise play on a Tuesday night. Some are rookies, some are stars, some are players returning from injury, but there is so much to be excited about this season, and these 30 players are definitely a huge part of it. Let’s get into it.

Houston Rockets

I think for most people the unanimous pick for Houston is 2nd pick of the draft 2-guard Jalen Green. There is one thing to have talent and whole another thing to have swagger and J-Green seems to have a surplus in both categories. Unlike his G-League Ignite teammate Jonathan Kuminga who is on a contender and needing to fit into a specific role, Jalen Green will be given the keys to the Cadillac day one in Houston. Despite his still slight frame, I expect him to catch some bodies at the rim this season.


The pick should be SGA, but I’m under the impression with this tanking franchise he will look similar to last year with a bit of an improvement. The player I’m interested instead is 6’8 point guard Josh Giddy. The main reason has nothing to do with his game, but the fact that he was selected so high in the draft. Kuminga, Davion Mitchell, and Moses Moody all look like excellent fits next to Shai, and with Davion, they probably could’ve moved back to 9 with Sacramento to get something in return. So, I’m intrigued to be proven wrong on the poor selection at 6 that had many analysts shaking their heads.


With the Wolves it’s got to be Karl Anthony Towns…no come one, it’s Anthony Edwards. The number 1 pick last year started slow but finishing out the year strong clearing up any questions of why he is a top-tier prospect. After the reports came out that he’s now a proper 6’6 barefooted, he may become the most explosive kid in the league.


I’m not going to lie and pretend I’m going to be watching random Kings games on a weeknight, but when they match up with a team I enjoy following, it will be sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton that my eyes will focus on. Especially since if he was put in a Simmons package to Philly the trade might have already been completed, will he live up to the hype his game has produced by exceeding expectations in his rookie year?

New Orleans

Zion. Selfishly as an addict to movement and NBA transactions, I hope to see Williamson ball out and the Pelicans flameout, causing his trade request and the first decline of a max rookie extension.


Honestly, not a single player…I cannot imagine watching a San Antonio game this season unless it was forced upon me. I have never seen a roster that on one hand, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see make the playoffs and yet has zero sex appeal. It is a team that should be in a full blown rebuild and yet is playing for the pride of Pop. That’s all well and good I suppose, but I’d probably rather watch a random 4-hour baseball game than watch the Spurs play the Magic…


Jaren Jackson Jr. I still have his stock that I bought in him prior to his draft selection and I love his modern big potential. Yet with the injuries, his overall production has been underwhelming. I am hoping at the very least that this season gives us some sort of answer to what he is and where he is going.


Although Curry is must-watch television any time he’s on the court, the Warriors are going to live and die by what Klay Thompson is by the postseason. Every single NBA fan will be watching the Warriors play Phoenix Christmas day for one thing, to see if Klay is Klay. Although that day he will probably be on a minutes restriction, come this postseason, we should know if the Warriors will continue being led by the Splash Brothers or if it has transformed into the one-man Chef Show…the former is a recipe for titles, the latter will most likely be underwhelming.


It has to be Anthony Davis. If he’s healthy and motivated, he always has the ability to be the best big in basketball. Unfortunately, those two things are never a given. If AD isn’t a clear-cut top 10 player, you can stock champagne for Lebron’s retirement party because it won’t be sprayed in the locker rooms at Staples.


Dame, and only for relocation. Another team that has no appeal to watch simply because their success in the regular season has proven time and time again to be a mirage. Hopefully, they’ll come out of the gates slowly and the Blazers can finally begin their belated rebuild around the pieces collected from a Lillard trade.


I’ve sold off all my KP stock, but I would love to be proven wrong and watch the Latvian unicorn tear it up inside. Forgot if Porzingis “looks like he did in New York,” if the man just doesn’t look like hot fuckin’ trash, maybe Luka and KP can get out of the first round of the playoffs and be a problem in the West.

LA Clippers

Just Kawhi and if he returns. If spring comes around and he still hasn’t suited up, I don’t care what PG-13 looked like last postseason, you can cross the Clips off the list of contenders with a big black permeant Sharpie.


With Murray out, what’s the over/under on shots attempted for the young Micheal Porter Jr.? All jokes aside, the kid’s a big shot taker and a big shot maker. With the increased volume of possessions going through him, where will he be in his developments come the playoffs? I am circling all the big games with Nuggets against the contenders in the league to see with MPJ does down the stretch of 4th quarters.


My oddest pick at least for most is out of Phoenix, I have a soft spot in my heart for backup point guard, Cameron Payne. Maybe because I am the only one wary about the CP3 extension, but all that aside, I like the way the Suns play when Cam Payne handles the ball. If he even takes the slightest step up from last year he could be a serious weapon for the Suns come the playoffs.


My apologies on this last one, it is a total homer pick as a Golden State fan, but I can’t wait to see Eric Pascal, big body P given some serious minutes out from under the stubborn thumb of the Steve Kerr regime. As an isolation player, Pascal looked downright lethal his rookie year and as a sophomore showed promise as a small-ball 5. Now next to his childhood friend D-Mitch, I hope he becomes a solid rotation piece for the Jazz.

Check out Pt.II Eastside Edition


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