The new wave of black athletes, who will start playing in the NBA next season, has already become an unexpected and largely under-reported trend.
While a number of black players have made headlines for the wrong reasons, many others are quietly growing their numbers and showing no signs of slowing down.
Here are the black athletes to watch for next season.
Brandon Ingram, Philadelphia 76ers The 6-foot-10 guard is the top scorer in the league this season, averaging 16.3 points and 11.5 rebounds.
He’s the first black player to average 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in a season since Magic Johnson in 2003-04.
While he’s been a consistent scorer for years, he’s never been a superstar, and that’s a big reason why Ingram has had so much success.
Brandon Knight, Los Angeles Lakers A versatile forward, Knight is one of the most productive players in the game.
He plays the point, but also has the ability to create his own shots, and he can score on any type of team.
His ability to shoot the ball on the move, and his ability to finish at the rim, have made him a dominant scorer in Los Angeles, and there’s no reason to think that will change this season.
Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia Sixers The Philadelphia 76er big man has been a revelation this season for the Sixers, averaging 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds.
His athleticism has been something of a concern for some teams this season; he’s not a great athlete, but he’s a very good shot blocker and has some ability to rebound the ball.
Oka for some reason has had a hard time getting consistent playing time, and the Sixers have shown a willingness to give him a shot to see how they feel about him.
Emmanuel Mudiay, Los Vegas Lakers After his first season in the D-League, Mudiays emergence has made a big difference for the Lakers.
He has been the top point guard for them this season and leads the team in assists with 3.1 per game, and has been very effective in helping the Lakers to win a couple of playoff series.
His versatility makes him a potential All-Star in the future, and a good fit with the Lakers’ roster.
Derrick Walton, Sacramento Kings Walton has been an elite scorer for the Kings, averaging 18.3 Points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
His shooting has been excellent this season as well, and if he continues to improve, he could be a top five scorer in this year’s draft.
Justin Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans Jackson is one the top players in this draft class, averaging 19.1 Points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest.
He may not be as big as some of the other big men, but his long arms and strong frame are an asset that can help the Pelicans win games and lead the team.
Anthony Bennett, Los Lakers Bennett is a great defensive player who has a very nice motor, and also has a nice offensive game.
There’s no doubt he can shoot the three, and it would be hard to argue with his scoring numbers.
Jabari Parker, Denver Nuggets Parker is one a young player with a great skill set, but the Nuggets may be too high on him to draft.
He just turned 20 in June, and while he’s shown flashes of his potential this season he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a consistent scoring threat.
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves Wiggins is a player that everyone has been waiting to see develop, and now he’s finally got a shot at making an impact on the league.
Wiggins has been extremely productive, averaging 13.1 Point, 6 RPG and 2 AST per game in his first three seasons in the pro game.
De’Aaron Fox, New York Knicks Fox is another young player who could be an All-Stars candidate in the near future, as he’s one of just two players in NBA history to average at least 20 Points, 20 Rebounds, 3.0 Blocks and 2 Assists in his rookie season.
DeAndre Jordan, Dallas Mavericks Jordan is another great defender who is averaging 15.2 Points, 8.4 Rebounds and 2 Blocks per game this season in Dallas.
He is also one of only two players who have scored in double figures in the same season in NBA History.
Emmanuel Ledet, Detroit Pistons Ledet is a big man with great length who has shown an ability to score on anyone on any team, and who has proven he can hit shots even from outside the paint.
Ledet has been one of several young players that have really surprised this season with their shooting.
Dwayne Bacon, Sacramento Hornets Bacon is one who will need to continue improving this season to be a superstar.
Bacon is also a good defender who can score and be a big presence