|Freshman||7’1″ 245||Center||UCLA||DOB: 10/13/99|
|9.7 ppg||8.3 rpg||1.9 bpg||FG: 60.7%||FT: 35.2%|
NBA Comparison: Mitchell Robinson
Strengths: Mobility, Length, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Raw Offensively, Limited Production, Strength
Brown arrived on campus ranked as a five star recruit by Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN. He started 31 of 32 games showing flashes of why he was ranked that high coming out of high school, but there are some question marks as well. Putting up his production around the basket, he is able to use his length and athletic ability to grab rebounds, get put backs, and catch lobs. Brown runs the floor very well for someone his size, making him a useful option on the fast break being able to score or clean up a miss in a variety of ways. The half court game at the next level could cause him some trouble, but he should be able to fit in from day one in fast break situations. As a rebounder he is solid, averaging 8.3 in just 23.3 minutes per game, although he did have some down rebounding games in conference, but for the most part he rebounded at a high level for a freshman in the Pac 12 given the minutes he played. On the defensive side of the floor Brown was able to protect the rim, averaging 1.9 blocks per game, however when watching his games you get the sense he could improve on this and be more effective in this area. The skills are there for him to be one of the better shot blockers in whatever professional league he ends up playing with, but there will be some work involved with better understanding help defense.
As the NBA has moved out towards the three point line and for the most part away from the throw the ball inside to a big man type of offense, most centers are expected to be able to step out and at least hit a mid range jump shot. While Brown’s shot does not look to have many major flaws, the fact that he shot the ball at 35.2% from the free throw line is concerning. Not only does this make him a liability when getting fouled down low and going to the line, but it suggests that he will have a very tough time extending his game outside of the paint. There are players with Brown’s size and skill set that figure out a way to stick at the highest levels of basketball, but it is an uphill climb when you bring a limited offensive skill set to the table, putting more emphasis on his ability to defend. He could add some strength to his frame to help deal with bigger centers, however Brown will most likely always have a fairly thin frame and he will need to use his length in many of those situations. With the fast paced style of the modern day NBA, Brown should be able to find a role providing effort plays around the basket on offense, and a rim protector on defense.
Here is an example of how he easy it is for Brown to finish at the rim:
This play shows his ability to block a shot and run the floor to get a basket in the paint:
Brown is projected to either go in the late second round, or undrafted. Teams like his potential, but they may want to get more film on him in the G League or overseas before being sold on his NBA future, however there is a chance an organization will take a chance on him in the second round. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level center, scoring at an average rate as well as providing elite shot blocking skills and solid rebounding. The worst case scenario for Brown is that he is unable to deal with stronger players inside or score an effective enough level to receive significant minutes, leading him to play in the G League or overseas.