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2018 NBA Draft: Pistons take Bruce Brown Jr

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The Pistons get another defensive-minded guard in the second round

NCAA Basketball: Miami at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons selected Bruce Brown Jr, SG from the University of Miami, at No. 42 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft:

Brown, a 6-5 guard, had a first-round grade coming into the season after a solid freshman year. However, he failed to build upon that freshman outing, shooting worse from everywhere (the floor, from three, and from the free throw line) and his season ended in early March after he hurt his left foot.

Brown, like the Pistons other draft pick Khyri Thomas, is “old” for an NBA rookie - he’ll turn 22 before the season starts. However, he’s a tough, competitive player - it’s not often you see a guard rebound like he did (7.1 rebounds a game his sophomore year).

Brown was not one of the prospects I discussed with The Stepien’s Jackson Hoy on our podcast together earlier this year, but Brown was included in Hoy’s massive pre-draft Big Board:

(Brown)’s an outstanding athlete who projects easily as an impact 1 through 3 defender in the NBA, though at times he looks just average in terms of lateral speed. That said, he’s physical at the point of attack and takes pride in his defense as one of the more competitive players in this draft. He was miscast on offense effectively playing point guard this season, though he did look to have improved his ball-handling and passing ability which should allow him to play on the ball in the NBA. He’s got an excellent motor and has a penchant for contact as a driver, and sometimes his attacking style is even too reckless. He can hit standstill jumpers but struggles to pull up off the dribble, which may end up being his swing skill. Brown has explosiveness, size, and strength, but he doesn’t have the highest basketball IQ or skill level and turns 22 in August. There are good reasons to keep him out of the first round, but he’ll be really useful if he hits.

Could Brown and Thomas be the Detroit versions of Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright for Dwane Casey? I don’t know, but I think it definitely says something that the Pistons drafted two guards known for their competitiveness and capabilities on both offense and defense.