With the 15th overall selection in this year’s NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards selected Troy Brown Jr. The 6’7, 215 pound wing was lauded through the draft process for his playmaking. He averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. His being picked by Washington at that point was a bit of a shock, the reason being that many felt the team’s first priority was in the front court. Namely a center who could protect the rim and rebound, but most importantly defend the pick-and-roll. Brown joins a team that has many wings, but he does stand out a bit from the rest.
The Wizards main horses are John Wall and Bradley Beal, on the wing they have Otto Porter Jr and Kelly Oubre. Not to mention Tomas Satoransky and Jodie Meeks, but Coach Brooks says there are “minutes” to be had if Brown can earn them.
Putting aside the initial shock and possible dismay from the selection, here’s how Troy can help the Wizards. He is a very capable ball handler, not in the sense of someone who “can” make plays, but is a true playmaker. One of the things that stood out when both Ernie Grunfeld and Scott Brooks talked about Brown was his “feel” for the game. That’s a big difference from how they ask Beal to initiate the offense, he has improved his handle to do it, but it’s easy to see at this point he doesn’t have a “feel” for it. Brown is a capable defender, but he has to improve his shot selection. One of the reasons for optimism and Brooks stated this as well, is the confidence he has in his staff to develop players.
Whether it’s fair or not, Brown is going to be judged harshly considering who was on the board when he was selected. Robert Williams lasted until the 27th pick and Omari Spellman was selected 30th to close out the first round. It’s easy to knock Brown for what he isn’t at this point, but he’s an 18 year old with a good feel for the game and he has a skill set that fits wings in today’s NBA.
The last thing to keep in mind, Brown’s selection could be the first in a series of moves the team has yet to make. So it’s just one night, but congrats to Troy Brown Jr for being selected in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft.
In the second round, Washington selected Issuf Sanon. He’s of the draft and stash variety, Ernie Grunfeld referenced Washington treating him similar to how they did Tomas Satoransky. He averaged 22 points a game over the last two seasons in Ukraine’s 2nd Division. In a brief face time session with the media, he identified a few parts of his game he wishes to improve. Those being his three point shot, court vision and ball handling. He will be landing in the states on July 1st, just in time to participate and play for the Wizards summer league team. He didn’t have a favorite NBA player when asked, but he likens himself to Russell Westbrook, at least in regards to the energy he plays with.
It was definitely wasn’t the draft most expected from Washington, only time will tell if there will be any changes to the roster via free agency or trade. It seemed as if Grunfeld was happy with the group of players that are on the roster, citing several times the importance of having open roster spots.