NBA Draft Profile: SG Bruce Brown

NBA Draft Profile: SG Bruce Brown

It was a minor surprise when Bruce Brown announced he was entering the NBA Draft, considering he missed the last 12 games of the Canes' season with a broken left foot. Prior to the injury, Brown struggled on the offensive end in comparison to his freshman season and saw his shooting regress as well.

While he averaged 11.4 PPG in his sophomore year compared to 11.8 in his first campaign, Brown shot much worse from the field at just 41.5% from the field and 26.7% from 3, compared to 45.9% and 34.7% respectively in 2016-2017. He also shot 62.9% from the free throw line, a 12% drop from his freshman season. Where he did improve, however, was in rebounding where he led the team with 7.1 rebounds per game, an absolute elite figure for a guard. So what does all of this mean for his draft potential?

Pre-Draft Measurables

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 195 pounds

Wingspan: 6’9”

Max Vertical Jump: 38 inches



Brown is versatile defender with the strength and length to battle bigger players, with the quickness to also corral smaller athletes. He plays hard as a help defender, and makes the right rotations in general. Brown takes pride in his defense and brings the intensity to that end of the court, while also showing an ability to turn his defense into easy offense out in transition. Defense will be his path to a long career in the NBA.


The Hurricanes offense was stagnant for much of the season, but Brown was one of the only players on the roster that showed signs of being able to create for himself and others, which should ultimately bode well when he heads to the next level. Brown is proficient and comfortable running the pick-and-roll and is able to create space off the dribble when attacking closeouts, both of which are good indicators of his ability to manipulate a defense and create offense in the pros.


Shooting Ability

Brown’s shooting form is not consistent; he changes his release point frequently and dips his elbows too often. This led to his 62.9% mark from the free throw line and his 26.7% shooting from three last season. These are both major weakness as a guard and something that could prevent him from getting on the court in today’s NBA if he doesn’t improve in these areas.

Finishing At the Rim

Despite great athleticism and dunking skills, Brown was actually below average when attempting to finish buckets around the rim last season, shooting 58.5% around the rim. His awareness of picking and choosing his drives isn’t the best and a lot of times he gets caught in the air or flailing to try and draw contact when he should just go up strong. This is something he could easily improve on with consistent repetition because the athletic ability is there with him.

NBA Comparison: Lance Stephenson

Like Stephenson, Brown is a jack-of-all-trades player that does many things well, but has an unreliable shot. Luckily, his passing, rebounding, and defense are all above average to make up for that and Brown could very well turn into that versatile, niche player that Stephenson has become the past few seasons. The best part? Brown does not come with any of the attitude issues you’d get with Stephenson.

Draft Projection: Early-to-Mid 2nd Round

Brown put up solid numbers across the board and could be a very valuable combo guard in the pros. He has shown that he can do a little bit of everything, making him a potential quality option coming off the bench for an NBA team next season.

However, with the injury and no noticeable signs of improvement from one year to the next, Brown now looks certain to fall all the way until the second round. At best, he might land himself in the last 5 picks of the first round, but that looks less and less likely as the draft approaches. One can’t help but wonder if he would have been able to get back into the lottery discussion had he come back for his junior year and was able to put together a season that he seemed so capable of early in his career.

Comments (4)

Good write up, except for the surprise he left part. He's already old by NBA draft standards. Had to go.