Apparent positional redundancy be damned, the Brew Hoop community couldn't help but succumb to the intriguing physical talents of Jaylen Brown - SF, California, the #6 player on our 2016 Draft Board.
Standing just under 6'7" with a 7-feet-plus wingspan, Brown looks every bit the part of a top-notch NBA wing. He's fast, explosively athletic, and strong--he gets that rare recognition for not having an ESPN Profile that includes "needs to add strength." Given all this, he seems like a player who should have dominated pretty easily at the college level.
Alas, such was not the case. Despite coming out of prep school with a reputation as a versatile offensive star, Brown struggled to score efficiently as a key cog in Cal's lineup. He was forced to the perimeter in a unit that was often starved for floor spacing, but his jump shot largely abandoned him, and it showed both statistically (.853 points per possession used, according to Synergy Sports Technology) and visually (inconsistent mechanics and shot selection).
Given the flaws of his college team, it's entirely possible Brown was simply handicapped by the situation. And indeed, there are plenty of bright spots to his game. Brown excels at getting to the free throw line, passes well, and kills in transition. And of course, he's still quite young, not turning 20 until this coming October.
It's largely the same story on defense: flashes of brilliance obscured by inconsistency, but with the physical talents that make most scouts think he has a lot of upside on that end. Brown definitely has a lot of work to satisfy his considerable upside, but the natural improvement that's likely to come from a better team situation, plus work with professional development coaches, has the possibility of catapulting him into the upper tier of this draft.
2016 Brew Hoop Community Draft Board
1. Ben Simmons - F, LSU - DraftExpress Profile
2. Brandon Ingram - SF, Duke - DraftExpress Profile
3. Jamal Murray - G, Kentucky - DraftExpress Profile
4. Dragan Bender - PF, International - DraftExpress Profile
5. Buddy Hield - SG, Oklahoma - DraftExpress Profile
6. Jaylen Brown - SF, California - DraftExpress Profile