San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospect No. 5: Greg Brown (Texas)
If you can imagine a young Jerami Grant with the mentality of a bull in a china shop, you already have a decent snapshot of the kind of player Greg Brown is right now. The number nine player on ESPN’s top 100 recruits of 2020 had a mixed bag of a season but was still able to display his potential for NBA teams ahead of the draft.
Brown is a 6’9″ power forward that was the most highly-recruited player on the team, for good reason. He was far and away the most athletic player on Texas’ roster this past season, showing his ability to block shots on the defensive end and put defenders on a poster on offense. The all-around effort that Brown gave on a daily basis made him very deserving of the ‘hype man’ role on a very good Texas Longhorns team.
Brown was originally a potential one-and-done prospect that very well could have gone in the first round, if not in the lottery, but Kai Jones debatably took a lot of the spotlight with his performance this past season despite a disappointing loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Still, Brown has been progressively been moving lower and lower on draft boards. While it’s well within the realm of possibility that a team takes a risk on him in the mid-to-late first round, the consensus about Brown seems to be that he’s two years away, from being two years away, from being a quality NBA player.
If you watched the Longhorns play this season and thought that Kai Jones was raw, then you probably know that Greg Brown is very raw in more ways than one. While Brown is very aggressive on both sides of the ball, that aggressiveness led to him being particularly foul prone, averaging 3 personal fouls per game (the highest on the team) despite being only 6th highest on the team in minutes played per game. While he was able to gradually increase his 3-point percentage to 33 percent and free-throw percentage to 70 percent by the end of the season, overall he was very susceptible to hot and cold streaks
I think that Brown could at least provide some good rim-running in transition, as well as rim protection and rebounding, especially if he learns to use his aggressiveness to his advantage in the league much like how Keldon Johnson does. To reach his full potential though, he will need to improve his shot, become a much better decision-maker on both sides of the court, and learn when to take risks and when to play it safe on the defensive end.
In the end, I see Greg Brown similarly to how I saw Lonnie Walker when he came into the league in that he has most of the tools needed to succeed, but that he needs to put them all together. I think he’s much farther away from that success than Lonnie was, to the point that I would only take him near the middle of the second round if he’s still available.
Next: Player #4