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Don't Be Surprised If Brandon Clarke Contributes Right Away In The NBA

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Brandon Clarke is an interesting prospect, who could be the ultimate glue guy for whatever team drafts him.

PF, Gonzaga, Senior

6’8, 207 lbs

Stats in 2018-19:

37 games, 36 starts, 28.1 MPG, 16.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 3.2 BPG, 68.7 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 69.4 FT%

Where he’ll go:

Clarke is projected to be a lottery pick.

The Rundown:

If you’re a Wolves fan and you pay attention to the NBA Draft, chances are you’ve heard Brandon Clarke’s name more than a few times.

This is a very athletic forward type, who can jump out of the gym. His 40.5 vertical leap ranked fourth at the NBA Combine and if you watch film of him, he puts it to very good use.

The knocks on Clarke: He’s 23 years old and his wingspan measurement was a bit alarming at the Combine.

The defense for that is that at 23 years old, Clarke projects as a player who can come in and play right away. He’s extremely mature and well spoken. At the Combine, he won my “personality award” which is a made-up award that goes to the player who is the most impressive with the media. I think that’s important.

As far as his wingspan goes, the fact that Clarke was able to be effective throughout his career and managed to block 3.2 shots per game says something. We’ve seen him play and his wingspan has yet to be a problem. He can make up for it with his athleticism.

This is an effort player on both ends, which is a good thing. He combines his skillset and his passion for the game and it works. 

He needs to work on his jumper, and he knows it. He shot nearly 70 percent from the field last season, but almost all of those were at the rim. He’ll need to show in the NBA he’s at least a threat from the midrange, and hopefully eventually at the 3-point line. 

“Every team isn’t sure I can shoot it really, that’s my biggest question mark,” Clarke said at the NBA Combine in Chicago. “I've been working really, really hard on it, so I’m just hoping they can see that I can actually shoot it and they can see that I made lots of progress on it and they can trust me that I can get better at it.”

He showed teams that he has been working on his shot, connecting on 80-percent of shots from 15 feet at the Combine. That’s a start. It will be all about how he performs in private team workouts.

Clarke has the athleticism to guard multiple positions, including out on the perimeter, at the next level. Offensively, he’s a smart and willing passer, and has a nasty spin move.

We always want these players in the draft to have All-Star upside. Maybe Clarke doesn’t have that. But he’s a player who I think can play right away and will make winning plays on both sides of the ball.  

He’ll also be a good teammate and we’re not going to question his effort. I think there’s something to be said for that.  

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