Did the Lakers Find Another Gem in Anthony Brown?


So far the Lakers resemble more of the recent past than the future during the first 3 games of summer league, but it’s too early to pass judgement just yet. Jordan Clarkson has been the Lakers best player. D’Angelo Russell is turnover prone. Julius Randle has looked one-dimensional and rusty. Robert Upshaw is raw to say the least. But if you’re looking for this season’s steal in the draft look no further than Anthony Brown.

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As a 4-year graduate of the Stanford Cardinal and 2013-14 Pac-12 Most Improved Player, Brown flies under the radar. At 6’7″ he fills the void at the Lakers most needed position on the roster, small forward. When the season begins, assuming Kobe Bryant starts at small forward, Brown will have the opportunity to come off the bench with the second unit. He shot 44% from the 3-point line in college and although his shot hasn’t fallen consistently in summer league, his stroke is effortless. The deeper NBA arc won’t affect his range and with trigger-happy teammates like Lou Williams and Nick Young, Brown should be open at the 3-point line frequently. Byron Scott may not favor the 3 much, but with a shot like Brown’s you have to give him the green light.

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Possibly a bigger need than outside shooting is his defensive prowess. His length can cause problems for opponents and he’s young enough to keep offensive players out of the lane. Brown has shown a propensity for staying glued to his man forcing contested shots. The advantage coming off the bench means he faces lesser competition. The Lakers drafted Brown based on need and he comes into a situation where he can instantly earn minutes and not be depended to contribute immediately on offense. Perfect for growth.

As far as youth, Russell, Randle and Clarkson will get most of the headlines this season, but don’t overlook Brown’s contributions off the bench. If the Lakers choose to prioritize development over winning this season, Brown could be the perfect candidate to show he’s a great fit for the future success of the team.

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