After taking D’Angelo Russell with the #2 overall pick and surprising nearly everyone by selecting Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th overall selection, there were several directions the team could go with their final pick in the draft. With the 34th selection, the logical choice would be to draft not just the best player left on the team’s board, but, hopefully, a player who could either play center or was a pure wing player.
Well, the Lakers went with the latter by drafting Stanford small forward Anthony Brown. Brown wasn’t a player I looked at closely, but when looking at his numbers and watching some tape on him, he looks to be a fine selection for where the Lakers got him. Brown measured 6’8″ with a 6’11” wingspan at the draft combine. This is prototypical size for an NBA wing, serving him well as he moves up to the next level.
But the Lakers did not draft him for his size, they drafted him because he can flat out shoot the ball.
You see all that red and orange around the arc? Yeah, that’s a good thing.
In his final two seasons at Stanford, Brown shot 45% and 44% from behind the arc. His jumper is smooth, fluid, and has a high release point. He does not have the quickest release which could translate to having issues when having to create jumpshots off the dribble against the length and athleticism he will face at the NBA level. But as a spot up shooter or someone who can do some work off picks, his shooting should translate nicely to the next level.
With his shooting ability and physical profile, the hope is Brown develops into a “3 and D” wing who can be a rotation player. Considering his age (he’ll be 23 in October), the upside of other prospects isn’t there, but the maturity in his game and in knowing how to work within his limitations should be more refined.
All in all, I like this pick. Drafting a redshirt senior isn’t necessarily the sexy acquisition, but shooting never goes out of style. And, again, if he can learn to use his physical tools and develop into a plus defender, the Lakers will have found themselves a player. Those are a lot of “ifs”, I know. But the same is true for nearly all players selected in the part of the draft he was. Here’s hoping the Lakers found another player in the 2nd round who can play in this league.