The NBA Draft is almost upon us and unlike last year when at least 4 Ducks players were hoping for a shot in basketball’s ultimate league the 2018 draft features only one former UO baller, that being the first one-and-done freshman in Oregon history; Troy Brown Jr.
A forward with a skill set allowing him to essentially play positions 1-4 in college, Brown was only the 2nd 5-star recruit in Oregon men’s basketball history. He already had a full frame for a teenager and had guard-like speed and ball handling abilities for a 6’7” forward. Although subject to criticism defensively, he played the passing lanes well and was a common scoop-and-score player. Offensively Brown could create well off the dribble and was effective slashing inside and making good reads passing on the perimeter. His 29% 3-point shooting and apparent lack of aggressiveness in the clutch, however, raised red flags for NBA scouts.
Brown was a Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention after he averaged 11.3 points and 6.2 rebounds while also finishing with 55 steals, good for 9th place on Oregon’s all-time list. Brown’s career high in points in Oregon was only 21, which he accomplished twice, against Washington and Colorado. While these statistics don’t exactly scream impact rookie, Brown’s aforementioned skill-set and upside at only 18 play a factor in what NBA teams are looking for moving forward. At 215 pounds Brown will put on more muscle as he enters his 20’s and at only 18 he could still potentially add an inch or so to his height. As of now, Brown would fit more into a guard position at his current size but the potential height and weight gain could move him back to his natural position of Small Forward.
Although he likely would not see much floor time in his debut season as a pro, a stint in the NBA’s developmental league coupled with a coach whose eventual plan for him is clear and specific to the areas Brown must improve, he could eventually make a decent name for himself if surrounded with the right teammates and staff.
NBA.com’s mock draft currently has him as the 26th selection in the first round, which would place him with the Philadelphia 76ers, a team teeming with young talent and a 4-position player Brown could benefit from learning from in Ben Simmons. The NBA Draft begins June 21st from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.