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Jaylen Brown – 6’7 Shooting Guard/Small Forward, California, 19 years old
The athletic swingman Jaylen Brown impressed scouts around the nation with his spectacular play for the California Golden Bears. Possessing size and length, Brown turned into one of the most promising prospects out there. He averaged 14.6 points, and 5.4 rebounds in less than 30 minutes per game. He is a force to be reckoned with in transition, and he’s not afraid to take the hit down low. After a disappointing showing at the tournament back in March, Brown is looking to make the leap to the pros where he’s expected to be selected in the early lottery.
Strengths – An extremely talented wing with the physical ability of a forward and a nose for the basket are his main strengths. He is probably the best athlete in this draft alone, as he overpowers defenders in transition, and down low he’s not afraid to take the hit and finish in traffic. He’s not only overpowering his opponents, but he’s also outrunning them; he has the combination of size, strength, and speed, definitely a valuable asset for any young prospect looking to go to the NBA. But that’s not all with Brown, as he is also a gritty defender and will usually out work his matchup on the other end. He is strong enough to guard both forward positions while being quick enough to stay in front of the guards. Being athletic enough to finish in traffic while showing great defensive prowess, Brown has surely become the apple of the eyes of many teams.
Weaknesses – While he had no problem scoring in college, Brown definitely needs to work on his shooting and ball handling. His shooting is the biggest question mark in the eyes of many; in his first year with California he shot 29 percent from beyond the arc and he shot an atrocious 65 percent from the free throw line, not very fitting considering his position. He also needs to work on his ball handling skills because he relies too much on his strength to get to the basket. He needs to work on his left hand because back in California it cost him about 3.4 turnovers per game. Overall, he just needs to polish his offensive game.
NBA Potential – I don’t think Jaylen Brown is the type of guy you’d want to build your franchise around, and I don’t think he’ll make multiple All-Star selections, but I’m sure he can be the second or third scoring option for a young and upcoming team. He might make it to one or two All-Star selections, but that’s probably the most he’ll get.
NBA Comparison – His game just screams Russell Westbrook to me. Like Brown, Westbrook was an explosive athlete out of college and they both didn’t have a jumpshot at the time. Take away Westbrook’s ball handling skills and add in four inches and you’ll get Jaylen Brown. If he develops a respectable shot from midrange the same way Westbrook did, then watch out.
With his skillset Jaylen Brown should be selected right after Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram. His future is certainly a question mark at this point, but teams in the lottery should be willing to gamble. Look for him to be drafted somewhere in the top five and be sure to keep yourself updated with all the prospects with our complete coverage of the 2016 NBA draft.