Troy Brown Jr. brings Wizards versatility and depth
On Thursday night, the Wizards selected swingman Troy Brown Jr. with the 15th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The 6’7” swingman played one year at Oregon after being named a McDonald’s All-American in 2017. During his freshman year, Brown averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 31.2 minutes per game.
"I was really excited,” Brown said of being drafted. “My workout went very well with the team and I was just very happy. It's a lifelong dream to make it to the NBA. You work so hard to make that dream come true and to finally hear my name, especially with a team that I felt like I kind of hit it off within the workout and the interview, I was very excited."
Only 18 years old, Brown is a versatile player who can handle the ball and has an excellent feel for the game already. The Las Vegas native has a 6’11” wingspan and can defend multiple positions, making him a valuable player in today’s game. His versatility stood out, something that’s coveted around the league right now.
“You have to have a lot of versatility [and] you have to have players that can play multiple positions,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. “The skill level in this game has gotten so much better for most players, and he’s a highly skilled player. He can handle the ball real well. He can make plays, he has a high basketball IQ, he can get in the lane and find the open players and can also finish. Versatility and skill is an important part of the game now.”
"The way the league is going, you have to be able to guard multiple positions and he can do that," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I love the fact that he can guard 1, 2s and 3s and maybe some 4s depending on who he’s playing against."
“I just see myself as a player that can do everything on the court,” Brown said. “I bring versatility to the team. To me personally, it was just trying to be an offensive spark and be a defensive spark on both ends. Whether it was making plays, or scoring the basketball, or coming in and guarding somebody that is a very good offensive player. Just being able to have that versatility. Like I said, I have a lot of progress that I need to make, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting in the gym and getting with the coaching staff and learning in that program.”
The Wizards were especially impressed by his interviews and workouts, showing maturity and a high basketball IQ. Both Grunfeld and Brooks noted that Brown was able to draw up several late-game situation plays for them. Brooks said he connected with Brown from the get-go.
The son of two correctional officers, Brown is a high-character player and shows professionalism beyond his years. His ceiling is high at only 18, and the Wizards expect him to be a big part of the team’s future.
“Those are the kind of things that you can’t teach,” Grunfeld said of Brown’s feel for the game. “You either have a good feel for the game or you don’t. You can get a little bit better at it as you progress and you get a little bit older… He acquired a good feel for the game and a good understanding of the game.”