California’s Jaylen Brown, the number-one ranked high school player in the class of 2015, could be the NBA draft’s next great lottery bust.
“He’s perfect for the NBA All-Star Game,” an NBA scout tells Breitbart Sports.
Breitbart Sports subsequently asked how the all-star tag suits Cal-Berkeley freshmen forward Jaylen Brown, who impressed few in Cal’s first-round NCAA tournament loss to Hawaii.
“Because in the All-Star Game they don’t play any defense,” quipped the NBA scout.
Draft Express forecasts Brown as the eighth pick and NBADraft.net predicts him going fourth. Brown as either the eighth or fourth pick, respectively. Yet at six-foot-six, 230 pounds, Brown looks more like an NFL tight end than he does NBA All-Star. He measures up as a classic NBA “tweener”—and plays like one, too.
His 29 percent three-point shooting percentage and one offensive rebound per game warrants questions. That Brown yields less than one point per possession on both two and three-point field goals depresses the analytic and basketball side of the NBA boardroom table. Shooting and rebounding numbers say that Brown lacks the skill of NBA small forwards and toughness of power forwards. That he led Cal in turnovers and personal fouls suggests that the speed of the game, like his draft status, moves too fast.
“For two years in AAU he dominated offensively. But, there’s no such thing as help defense in a lot of these AAU tournaments. He was never challenged,” the NBA scout tells Breitbart Sports.
But one cannot argue that Pac-12 foe Utah, which features seven-footer Jakob Poeltl, or 13-seed Hawaii, resembled amateur circuit pushovers. Playing before rows of NBA scouts at the PAC-12 tourney in Las Vegas and NCAA tourney in Spokane, Brown shot a combined 4 for 23 from the floor, grabbed two offensive rebounds, and lost both games.
So what attracts the NBA check holders?
“He’s a guy with a strong body that can run and jump when the game is all running and jumping. Obviously in the NBA, athleticism can only take you so far. You need to do one thing really well,” explains the NBA scout.
In a half-court game, Ben Simmons passes like Magic Johnson and rebounds like Karl Malone. Buddy Hield shoots and makes. A thin and obscenely long Brandon Ingram drives, finishes, and embraces contact. Kris Dunn penetrates, scores, and makes Rondo-esque pass plays.
With a seven-foot wingspan, Brown, a former McDonald’s All-American and top-ranked prep prospect according to Rivals, matches or trumps the aforementioned trio athletically. But when he shoots, he misses. When the ball comes off the rim, he lets his teammate or a guy in an ugly jersey grab it. While Brown drew fouls and dunked basketballs throughout his freshmen campaign, a visible NBA half-court niche remains unclear.
The NBA scout agrees: “I’m not sure what he does well in the NBA.”