4. Boston Celtics (via Nets) : Jaylen Brown (SG/SF-Cal)
- 19 yrs.
- 6’7″, 222 lbs.
Jaylen Brown is one of the biggest wildcards in the draft. He’s built like a linebacker but his basketball skills leave a lot to be desired.
Brown shot just 43.1 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from downtown, both worrisome numbers for a wing player. At the college level, he was able to use his strength to score at the basket, but he will need a better jumper at the NBA level.
Brown has the ability to be an elite defender and that fits well into the Celtics’ extremely aggressive defensive scheme.
Yes, this is one of the infamous picks from that trade. Nets’ fans will be hoping Brown isn’t a superstar.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jamal Murray (PG/SG-Kentucky)
- 19 yrs.
- 6’5″, 201 lbs.
Another guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. They already have Ricky Rubio and Zach Levine, but Jamal Murray is too good to pass up. After hitting the jackpot last year with Kentucky big man Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota can’t go wrong with another one of John Calipari’s recruits.
Minnesota was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league last year, and Murray shot over 40 percent for the season from downtown, with 3.6 three-pointers made per 40 minutes. Most guards coming into the league don’t have that skill and it sets him apart.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Buddy Hield (SG-Oklahoma)
- 22 yrs.
- 6’4″, 214 lbs.
Buddy Hield is the latest player to shoot up draft boards based on his NCAA Tournament performance. March Madness fans caught Buddy Hield fever and NBA owners know that he will be a marketable name.
It’s rare for a senior to be considered such an elite prospect today, but Hield is a special case. He would never have been a top-10 pick before this season, but he evolved into the biggest star in the game.
He had as good a college season as any athlete can, winning Big 12 Player of the Year, the Naismith Award, and being named Consensus First Team All-American. Hield shot a ridiculous 50.1 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from three-point range, scoring 28.3 points per 40 minutes.
The Pelicans are likely to lose Ryan Anderson in free agency, so picking up another three-point gunner will be a huge asset.