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2021 NBA Draft Coverage: Greg Brown

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Greg Brown is a high risk, high reward prospect. Could the Jazz stray from their usual process and pick him?

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Brown is an athlete.

You may have seen highlight videos of him in high school throwing down dunk contest worthy jams in game. If you haven’t, well, I’ll include plenty of highlights down below for you to enjoy. Brown has been known for his jumping ability for years now, despite being a one-and-done college athlete. But can he do more than just jump?

Stats and measurements

Age: 19

Year: Freshman

Height W/O Shoes: 6’7.25”

Height W/ Shoes: 6’8.5”

Weight 206.4 lbs.

Wingspan: 7’0.25”

PTS: 9.3

RBS: 6.2

BLK: 1.0

NBA fit

As a 6’8” player with long arms and elite jumping ability, Greg Brown’s natural position seems to be the 4, but he might be able to slot in as a small-ball 5, while also being able to fit in as a big wing. That kind of positional versatility is attractive to NBA teams. Brown has NBA size, length, and athleticism. Not a lot of prospects have all three of those boxes checked off. But this is all well known with him. The unknown is his game, so that’s what we’ll try to unravel here.

Strengths

Brown’s offensive skillset is intriguing. He plays big, but he can handle the ball and move fluidly down the court at speed. He’s shown an impressive ability to take players, especially bigs, off the dribble. Brown also may have upside as a spot-up shooter. He shot 33% from deep in his one year at Texas, which is nothing to write home about, but he has a smooth shot, a confident rhythm, and solid free throw numbers. If that three point shot can develop into a reliable NBA weapon, it’s easy to see how he could fit on just about any NBA team. A 4/5 who can be a lob threat, run the court, spot up in the corners, and maybe even be a pick and pop target is a rare player.

On the defensive side of the ball, Brown has potential. He’s shown good habits as a rim protector, staying down on pump fakes, and jumping vertically to contest. His athleticism is not only shown in leaping ability, but also in his ability to move his feet on defense. He has shown that he can stay in front of ball handlers, which is a skill that bigs desperately need in today’s NBA. He’s even shown flashes of impressive isolation defense against top NBA prospects. The tools are all there.

Weaknesses

As with many young, hyper-athletic prospects, there are question marks about Brown’s game. The biggest downside you’ll see when watching his film is his shot selection. While I’ve touted his jumper as a potential strength, he’s no Kevin Durant. Watching some of his games though, you may wonder if he thinks he is. Brown has bad habits of forcing midrange pullups in the early shot clock. He also tends to drive with high aggression frequently. This can be a strength at times, but also can result in habitual turnovers, missed shots, and missed passing opportunities. Shot selection is certainly not a rare issue for 19 year olds, and it can be coached and worked on, but it is a serious flaw in Brown’s game right now.

The other main weakness I’d list here is a bit of a blanket statement. Brown lacks polish. Offensively, he’s not a passer, he’s often out of control, and his handle needs work. Defensively, he’s not incredibly aware of the court, and can get caught out of position. The tools are there on both sides of the court for Brown to be the steal of the draft, and a real impact NBA player, but the odds of him reaching that potential are completely unpredictable. With good coaching and a serious work ethic, he could get there. But a great many prospects have been told that same thing, just to crash and burn. It will be very interesting to see which direction Greg Brown’s career goes.

How could the Jazz get him?

Brown is projected to be a late first round pick. He very well could be on the board at 30. His tantalizing tools may entice a team in the twenties to pick him before the Jazz can though. If they want him bad enough though, I think they could make it happen. The Utah Jazz are not known for making big gambles in the NBA Draft, and they certainly have some holes to fill in their roster, so they may be looking for someone who has a better chance of contributing right away. But if they decide they want to roll the dice, Brown may be the best choice for that.