5. Steven Adams
Last year, the only time anyone who wasn’t a Thunder fan ever heard of Steven Adams was when he basically “won the series” for his team in the first round of the playoffs by pushing Zach Randolph to the point of trying to fight him, leading to Randolph’s suspension for game 7 of the series. Yet, with the absence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the beginning of the season, Adams and Reggie Jackson really stepped up as the leaders of the team.
Although they really didn’t do too much winning until the two stars returned, they held their own and kept OKC in contention for the playoffs. Although he isn’t flourishing as an offensive player when it comes to scoring, he is doing his part as a big man on defense, averaging 1.2 blocks and 4.4 boards per game. He still may not be one of the most well-known names in the NBA yet, but he has made a nice improvement to his game so far, and it seems like it’s only going up from here.