Tevin Brown is definitely one of the guys I am betting on to be a sleeper for the 2022 NBA Draft. A guard out of Murray State listed at 6-foot-5 and 175 pounds, he may seem on the smaller side, but he does have big-time game. Brown played four years for the Racers and even started all 33 games and was the team’s third-leading scorer his freshman season alongside current Memphis Grizzly Ja Morant.
This past season, Brown posted the following per game stat line:
- 16.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks
- 50.0% from two-point distance, 38.4% from three-point range, 74.8% from the free-throw line
- 57.6% True Shooting, 15.5% Assist Percentage, 11.1% Turnover Rate, 23.1% Usage
For me, he is the ideal second-round guard prospect for the Pistons due to his combination of shooting, court vision, and suddenness. He is eerily similar to current Denver Nugget Will Barton. From his size to his game, the parallels are easy to make. Barton is listed at 6-foot-6 and 181 pounds. Barton’s shooting splits were 50.4/36.5/80.3, his assist percentage was 17.6%, his turnover percentage was 11.8 on 20.8% usage.
And like Barton, I could see Brown being able to be firmly in the 4th to 6th man role on an NBA team the way Barton has the past seven seasons in Denver. Just take a look at his skills on full display against Jalen Duren and Memphis:
Of all Brown’s skills, his shooting is far and away the most enticing to NBA teams. Brown is as LEGIT of a shooter as they come. In this game, if you didn’t notice, Brown goes a RIDICULOUS 6-of-13 from three-point land. And when you zoom out and look at his entire shooting profile, you will see he took 63.2% of his shots from three and sunk them at a 38.6% across all four years at Murray State. He also took AT LEAST 196 attempts from downtown every year in college—he also posted a career-high 276 attempts this past season!
Brown’s ability to get his teammates easily looks is also something that will get Brown on NBA court in year 1. Brown dished out at least 75 assists every year. Over these past three seasons without Ja Morant, Brown posted 104 assists or more. Even on that team with Ja Morant, freshman Tevin Brown was the secondary playmaker as those 75 assists were second on the team—an impressive feat considering Ja averaged 10.0 assists per game. Brown’s passing is also what helped him most at the NBA Combine scrimmages as he was one of the big winners there.
Brown also can accelerate and get after it on both ends of the court to help him in a variety of situations. On defense, he is really good at playing free safety off-ball and jumping into passing lanes. This is easiest to see in his 1.4 steals per game—and on film you rarely see him jump a route he doesn’t snatch or knock out of bounds so I would NOT label him a gambler. On offense, this is most apparent as he moves through screens off the ball, he will explode from a standstill and work himself free through his screeners. You see his defender a step or two behind him in so many games when they guard him off the ball.
The negatives for Brown he will need to work on immediately are his ball-handling and his man-to-man defense. The ball handling may be less of an issue as he won’t necessarily need to play point guard, but at his size and with that passing ability he would provide an NBA much more functionality at both guard spots. Plus thinking of the Will Barton comp, part of his worth is that Barton can handle the rock and be a reliable secondary creator when called up on do so.
There were too many times on film where I saw a defender easily poke the ball out of Brown’s hands. I think this should be priority number one as, again, it adds another dimension to his game that keeps him away from being just a good rotational shooter.
Brown’s man-to-man defense also needs work as his size does get him erased on too many screens. Let’s take a look at the full game highlights against Auburn from this past season as it will highlight this AND Brown’s need to improve his handle. Keep an eye on #10 for Murray State through it all:
Against NBA athletes with size, you can see the only time Brown truly has struggles is when they start screening him more. It is good that he does not give up when he is screened, but he does not have the technique for navigating through screens right now. Any NBA coaching staff will need to get with him the minute he walks in the door to work on this. It may take some time as this was his biggest knock for me and I don’t think it’s something you just pick up overnight.
A minor thing also is Tevin Brown’s struggles to finish at the rim, but I say minor cuz Will Barton also has these same struggles and is still a successful NBA player. I think their roles as shooters and ball handlers don’t necessitate them to be great finishers as they are there to supplement their star teammates. I realize this might be a bigger red flag for others, but I am buying into Brown as a shooter above all so it’s not as big of an issue for me. Take a look at Brown and Barton’s shot charts side-by-side:
Like I said at the beginning, Brown is a fantastic fit for the Pistons as his shooting, passing, and suddenness are much needed in their rotation. Similar to Žiga Samar last time, Brown can come in and be the shooter Killian and Hamidou Diallo need while also being able to run pick-and-rolls with Beef Stew and Marvin Bagley if he stays. He can also run pick-and-pop plays with Kelly Olynyk. I think he is ahead of Samar as a shooter and should be given the green light in that regard from day one.
While his defense will take work, as a bench guard I think he will be fine. He and Killian are a great pairing with Brown’s shooting and Killian’s defense in a six-foot five bench guard unit with both guys able to operate pick-and-roll. If Brown’s man-to-man defense does come around in a few seasons, then we will be seeing a Will Barton clone before out very eyes! Who the team takes at pick No. 5 may impact whether they take a guard, but I think Brown would still be in contention if he is there at 46 because you always bet on guys that can pass and shoot the way Brown can.