It’s one of the most important moments as a fan. Which player has changed your perception of the team? Which shows the most promise? Who has the talent to merit getting a jersey? Who will likely be with the team years from now? Who inspires fans with jaw-dropping plays?
Jaylen Brown checks all the boxes.
One of the Celtics most incredible athletes, Brown has shown us fans time and time again why he should be our favorite Celtics player sooner rather than later. And let me tell you this: Once I have the money, the first jersey I will buy will be Jaylen Brown. And it should be yours as well.
Here’s a few reasons why I think Jaylen “Jumpman” Brown merits the investment that is a jersey purchase from all Celtics fans:
- He’s a safe bet to be on the team in 5 years
Jaylen Brown is an incredible human being, and one of the most talented draft picks the Celtics have picked in years. Forget everyone else in the roster for a moment, and think about what Jaylen Brown could do if he was in a different uniform. Let’s imagine Jaylen is on the Brooklyn Nets. There is no doubt in my mind that he would be starting and averaging somewhere in the range of 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He has one of the most incredible skill sets on a 6’7 player I have seen in a long time, and his competitive drive and willingness to put in the work to get better should mean that the Celtics would laugh at any trade offer they could receive for Brown that doesn’t have LeBron in it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Jaylen Brown’s role on this upcoming Celtics team could be drastically different than the role he was given during last season. Gone are the days where Jaylen had to wait in the reserves because of Jae Crowder’s more serviceable defensive abilities. This year, Jaylen will instead likely be given more of a sixth man role due to the fact that Marcus Smart will likely get the nod to start in order to make up for some of Kyrie’s defensive problems. With a sharpened mind and a confident offseason where he proved to the NBA world that he has way more to offer skill-wise than he did last year, Brown is poised to break out and possibly earn some nods in the starting lineup as the season moves along.
And when LeBron’s prime has come and gone. Brown will be right there to challenge guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo for All-Star honors.
Take a look at some of Jaylen’s highlights from the NBA Summer League, where his athleticism and improved skillset on the offensive end will strongly compliment his hard-nosed defensive efforts.
His offensive arsenal has clearly improved since last year. His scoring output in the Utah circuit was the 5th highest amongst all players at 17.5ppg, and he led the summer league efforts in rebounding overall with a much improved 10.5rpg. Of course we wouldn’t expect that level of play right away once the regular season starts, but we can safely assume his efforts to better his craft will definitely be shown once he gets his feet wet once again.
Due to all of this, Jaylen is a surefire lock to be on the team for the foreseeable future, and he could become a possible Celtics legend.
2. He’s a walking Highlight Reel.
Jaylen Brown is undoubtedly the most exciting athlete on the roster. His tendency to make incredible plays makes him a favorite to come off the bench and terrorize second units at the moment, but don’t be surprised if he starts making those same plays against starting caliber players soon.
Take the latest exhibition game Brown has played in as an example: Team World vs Team Africa in the NBA Africa Game.
Brown was one of the most incredible performers of that game, and if his 15 points don’t impress you I’m sure his numerous highlight plays will. Take a look at them at the bottom.
One particular play stood out from the rest, as it was one that reminded many fans of the athleticism that was “His Airness”. Brown dribbles past one defender while keeping his composure and meets the defender at the bottom of the basket. He quickly turns his body and as the defender makes contact with Brown, and simply lofts it up backwards and gets the iconic layup that would make Michael Jordan proud.
I was recently talking about this with a close friend and fantastic analyst, and we both concurred that Jaylen Brown’s athleticism has shades of Michael Jordan with a combination of LeBron’s strength. If that doesn’t scare you now, wait until Brown hits his prime and averages a confident 20 and 5 for a team that has Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the late stages of their prime.
3. Jaylen, alongside Jayson Tatum, will be the future of the franchise.
Jaylen Brown, should he play his cards right, looks poised to turn into an All-NBA caliber player. He has improved tremendously and looks for guidance on ways to improve his game. He also works on his weaknesses religiously and has shown his mental drive might be his greatest attribute of all. If he can consistently knock down three-pointers and develops a go to move (such as a post fadeaway), his athleticism and basketball IQ should drive him to be one of the best players in the league in a few years.
Right now the Celtics are sitting pretty with three All-Star caliber players at their disposal in Hayward, Irving, and Horford. But when Horford is long gone and Kyrie and Hayward are reaching the end of their primes, Jaylen Brown will step into the spotlight having played with more than 4 All-Star caliber players. He will have, hopefully, mastered what it means to be a leader, and his statistical output will have evolved to the point where he can be a number one option on offense AND defense if need be.
Another thing to take into account is the fact that Brown has a partner in crime who could take some of the attention from defenders in Tatum. Jayson, who is one of the most polished offensive rookies in recent memory, will help Brown grow as defenses will be more keen in stopping him offensively.
4. His role on the team should evolve and blossom under Brad Stevens
It’s been noted by numerous stars around the league that one of the most innovative, and incredible coaching minds out there currently in the NBA is that of Brad Stevens. Brad Stevens took in a guy with a 5’9 height measurement that was a sparkplug on offense for numerous teams, and transformed him into a candidate for the MVP award with the 5th most votes among players (Isaiah Thomas). Just take a look at some of the numbers that Isaiah Thomas put up before his incredible run with the Celtics: During the 2014 season, before being traded to the Celtics, Thomas was averaging a measly 15.2ppg and 3.7apg. His best statistical season came in 2013 when he was with the Sacramento Kings and was surrounded by an All-NBA level talent in Demarcus Cousins, where Thomas averaged 20.3 ppg. Once arriving in Boston, Thomas immediately sparked some much needed offense into the Celtics under Stevens, upping his scoring output to 19.0ppg, close to the best scoring output he had mustered in his career. A few years later, after learning more of Brad’s tricks, Isaiah averaged a whopping 29.8ppg and shot his best percentage from the field in his career: 46.3% from the floor, all while leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now, for a moment, let’s look at Jaylen Brown. Brown has been with the same organization his entire career, albeit a very short career at the moment due to the fact that he’s 20 years young. In his lone season with Boston, Brown averaged an unimpressive 6.6ppg and combined that with a pretty low 34 percent from beyond the arc. Now keep in mind that Brown was behind one of the best 3 & D forwards in the league in Jae Crowder, and take him out of the equation for the next year. Also take away one of the most pesky and impressive on-ball defenders in the league in Avery Bradley. Now add some incredible talent on the offensive end in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. The result? The Celtics have completely switched identities, and have now committed to a more offensive minded game led by two underappreciated offensive stars in the beginning of their primes.
What does all of this mean? Well, the Celtics are going to look to find some defensive presence somewhere else in their roster. And one of the leading candidates to fill that position could easily be Jaylen Brown.
With a grown man’s body that strongly resembles that of a certain 4 time MVP, Brown has shown flashes of impeccable footwork and a strong foundation from which he is able to switch onto smaller guards or bigger forwards. This sort of versatility has incredible value when it comes to playing with Brad Stevens, where the ability to switch onto anybody is something that is very handsomely rewarded with playing time.