It’s always hard to know what to make of a team’s draft in the hours after the picks are made—let’s not forget the Wizards got an A from ESPN in 2011 for drafting Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, and Shelvin Mack—but they’re good for getting a sense of whether or not teams made the most the opportunities presented to them.
While no one gave the Wizards an A, some outlets are more optimistic than others about Brown’s potential in Washington.
At 6’6, Brown was raised as a point guard his entire life before moving to the wing when he got to Oregon. He’s a versatile defender who has retained his passing and ball handling ability from all those years spent playing lead guard. His biggest issue is his outside jump shot. This is a solid pick, but I would have taken Zhaire Smith and Robert Williams over him.
The fit is weird. Can Brown, who can play both guard spots, ever join John Wall on the court? He’s not a good shooter yet, and he’ll be a longer-term project than some other players available, such as Khyri Thomas. But he’s also not as high-upside as Lonnie Walker IV. He’s a good player at the right value, but how will it work?
Brown Jr. is a Swiss army knife of talent. While not necessarily a reliable scorer, the switchable wing checks many other boxes, including rebounding, physicality and athleticism.
Perhaps the Wizards can play Troy Brown Jr. alongside Beal, Wall and Porter in a small-ball lineup. The Oregon standout is 6’7” with a wingspan slightly over 6’10”, after all. He certainly has the size necessary to match up against NBA 3s, and his distributing ability would make for a de facto death lineup with offensive explosions coming from many different sources.
But Brown doesn’t stretch the floor, and he’s not quite quick enough to hang with true backcourt members at the highest level. Those are troubling issues for a player either billed as a backup to Beal or a portion of small-ball units, especially because he’s coming off the board far sooner than expected.
Up to this point in the prospect pageant, he’s easily the biggest reach.
The Wizards opted for Brown here, with his versatility and fit alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal serving as key selling points. He can play on the ball, can defend multiple positions, and is still young for this draft class, suggesting there is untapped upside. Brown isn’t a great shooter and will require some refinement as a scorer, but won’t have to shoulder much of that load in Washington. Adding a young wing who has a variety of pathways to being successful is a sensible decision.
Brown slipped under the radar while playing for a disappointing Oregon team, but it’s not surprising that a player with his combination of size (6-foot-7 and 208 pounds, with a 6-foot-10 wingspan), ball handling, and passing ability wound up right outside the lottery. There is a lot of Evan Turner in his game, both good and bad. This will be a great pick if he can figure out his wonky 3-point shot (29.1 percent from 3 on 3.1 attempts per game). If he can’t, though, he doesn’t have the athleticism to be an impact player without it.
Brown is one of the many available wings still left on the board, and a surprise selection here given previous reports linked Washington with players like Zhaire Smith and Robert Williams III. The Oregon product is an interesting offensive prospect who can create some offense with the ball in his hands. His jumper remains a significant work in progress.
With a number of higher-rated wings still available, it’s difficult to give this pick an A.
This seems like a real reach for the Washington Wizards at 15, considering their needs. Washington does need wing depth and players on the perimeter. But they also need guys who can shoot, and Troy Brown mimics a lot of what Evan Turner has turned out to be.
That can be a fine player on a rookie deal, but this team already has dynamic wings with Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. on the team. They need a competent big man. With Robert Williams available and Brown shooting 27 percent on jumpers off the dribble, I don’t love this pick for Washington. Brown was a bad shooter in every situation at Oregon. He needs a lot of development there.