What impact will Jaylen Brown have in 2016?
After swirling rumors of a possible trade with Philadelphia or Chicago, the Boston Celtics decided to stand pat and select Cal forward, Jaylen Brown with the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Brown, a former freshman with the golden bears, had a very uneven season at the University of California. His athleticism and ability to drive the paint and get to the line were some of his greatest strengths last season which should really help a team like Boston from day one. On the other hand, Brown did not shoot the ball very well at Cal. From beyond the 3 point line, Brown shot 29.4% and from the free throw line, shot 65.4%. The Celtics are a team that desperately needs shooters, so although Brown may be able to improve in that area, right away that will not be one of his more well known abilities.
Being a playoff team who won 48 games last season, the Celtics are a great situation for Brown to come into where he can learn and continue to develop as a basketball player. As a 19-year-old, Brown will most likely not be relied upon to be a major scoring contributor to the team in the 2016-17 season. His versatility and athleticism however, should be enough for him to carve out a role in Brad Stevenss’ rotation. With the recent departure of Evan Turner to the Portland Trail Blazers, Brown should be able to slide into a role as Jae Crowder’s backup, although with not as many minutes as Turner was getting. Turner’s 28.0 MPG 10.5 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 4.9 RPG will be very hard to replace, however with players like Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart advancing in their careers, Brown should be able to ease into a role that fits his skill set while Rozier and Smart handle more of the playmaking role for the Celtics.
Although the team did not address one of the more glaring issues by drafting college shooters like Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray, who both shot over 40% from beyond the 3 point line last season, the team did focus on other areas of weakness and the skill set that Brown can bring right away will be a great addition to a young team on the cusp of being a contender in the Eastern Conference. Fans may be unhappy that the team did not trade the pick for a established player in the league, but in my opinion, Brown will be ready to show the fans in Boston and everywhere what he can bring to the table right away, and what he can become in the future.
All stats provided by SI.
Colby Gatz covers the Boston Celtics for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.