If nothing else, the 2016 NBA Draft has another name in the mix. California's Jaylen Brown made the official announcement of his declaration this afternoon in a press conference held at the university.
For those compelled to check out the full press conference, the team aired it via Periscope, and it's archived HERE. There's some fascinating stuff Brown gets into before he makes the announcement -- he made off-the-cuff mentions of the possibility of interning for venture capital firms and his admiration for soccer star Messi, showing some impressive diversity for a kid his age.
Brown's major hurdle in the eyes of NBA evaluators is the lack of diversity in his game. He has the type of body that screams "pro ready" and has an appealing free-throw rate compared to contemporaries...
...but has very little else in the toolbox at this stage. There's a possibility he rounds out his game, but the underlying signs don't look great. I touched on this in a piece I wrote recently for Upside & Motor, some of which I'll relay here:
If Brown were being considered as a mid-late pick in the first round, a lot of these concerns would be shrugged off fairly easily. Rolling the dice on athleticism and hoping the guy can figure it out is a time-honored tradition for NBA execs. The thinking there is simple -- you can teach a man to shoot or pick up other skills, but you can't alter a player's genetic structure.
It's easy to talk yourself into a future for Brown; when spacing opens up for him at the next level, he'll be able to leverage his strengths in a way he couldn't at Cal. A dearth of shooting put him behind the proverbial eight ball, and Ivan Rabb's presence in the paint didn't exactly clear space for him to operate.
But Brown is not being pushed forward as some late-first project some team can take a flier on. In play with one of the top-five selections in this June's draft, Brown would likely be asked to take on a primary role for a rebuilding franchise, a role that he currently seems woefully unequipped for. The flashes are blinding, but they feel too distant from one another to be relied on consistently.
I had Brown pretty high up on my big board the last go-around for LB, but the more I watch his tape the less enamored I am with his potential. If the Sixers somehow end up with pick three only, selecting Brown would be close to the doomsday scenario, though I think he'll start to slide back in the process the closer we get to draft day.
If that doesn't get you fired up to take him, nothing will! Is anyone left on the Jaylen Brown bandwagon?