Jaylen Brown (Freshman, Cal)
Shooting Guard-Small Forward/6’7/225/Age: 19
Product of…Wheeler HS (Marietta, GA)
14.6 points/game, 5.4 rebounds/game, 2 assists/game
Cal’s Jaylen Brown is THE most explosive wing in the 2016 Draft class. Standing at 6’7 (with a near 7-foot wingspan), Brown is hard rim driver and ferocious finisher – tough to stop when he has a head of steam. During his one year in school, he showed a raw ability to knock down Js from inside the arc (nearly 50%) but struggled to consistently hit threes (sub-30%).
Even though Brown didn’t turn heads with the college three, his lack of shooting isn’t a glaring issue at this stage, for a couple of reasons:
Age. Brown is only 19 and already has the prototypical size and strength for a productive, NBA wing.
Shot Mechanics. Brown’s J isn’t broken or ugly by any means. Similar to Stanley Johnson, Brown didn’t necessarily have to rely on scoring from outside in both HS and college – used his overpowering physical tools to star.
Jaylen does suffer from the same pitfalls of young wings at times, including an inconsistent effort defensively and falling in love with deep jumpers.
However, his untapped potential as a legit, two-way scorer will yield a high lottery selection come June. Whether the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year can step in right away is the big question.
NBA Skills: Elite athleticism, size & strength
-EASY leaper; possibly the draft’s best, pure athlete; launching pad for vicious dunks is near the top of the painted area; converts well in transition
-Forever in attack mode: once Brown receives the rock on the wing (especially in transition), he won’t stop until he gets into the paint and forces the defense to react; not afraid to challenge the trees down low
-Locks in on the defensive end; stays in front of his match up and doesn’t allow many easy looks; could possibly defend 1-3 in the league; good rebounder, uses frame to box out and skies amongst the trees to pull em down
-Outside J is a work in progress; shot 29% from the college 3; prefers driving the lane over converting Js off the dribble and spotting up
-Poor foul shooter; under 65% at Cal; is focused on both ends but has mental lapses during the flow of some games
-Can get out of control on the break; prone to silly mistakes (second in the Pac-12 with 105 turnovers in 15-16)
NBA DOG Status: Star UnderDOG
Jaylen Brown has the highest upside of any wing player in the 2016 Draft. With an NBA-ready body and hard-driving style, there’s a reason why some scouts believe he won’t last past 5 or 6.
But for a team drafting him with a Top 5 pick, they must realize Jaylen’s at leasttt a couple years from contributing at a high level. If his outside game ever catches up to his physical tools, he’ll be tough to stop.
NBA Comparison: DeMar DeRozan (Best Case)