Jaylen Brown won’t play in this year’s Rising Stars game, and ex-Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King is at the top of the list of those responsible. Generally, players with his athleticism, versatility and upside aren’t drafted by organizations that will consider their season a failure if they’re not playing in May. Had Brown been drafted by a real lottery team, he would likely be averaging significantly more than his 5.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.3 minutes, and he would likely be a shoo-in for the U.S. Team that features only three rookies: Malcolm Brogdon, Brandon Ingram and Marquese Chriss . Thanks to the Boston Celtics’ infamous 2013 trade with the Nets, though, Brown’s job as a rookie is to make the most of a relatively limited role.
“He works really hard at it,” Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said last Friday, via WEEI’s Josue Pavon. “We talk all the time. We’ve made mention that playing minutes is certainly a part of the development experience but there’s a lot more that goes into that. He spends a lot of time studying, he had a great workout yesterday on an off day when he came in and put a lot of time in on both ends of the floor. I thought he did a lot of good things. The hard part in this league is being able to do it every night and doing it over and over and over again. But he’s certainly a guy that’s continuing to put in the work and certainly is capable of becoming a guy that is very consistent.”
Stevens said that on the day of Brown Bears ‘s best game as a professional. In a 128-98 win over the Orlando Magic , he had 20 points, eight rebounds and two assists, shooting 6-for-13 from the field, 2-for-5 from 3-point range and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line. Starting in place of the injured Avery Bradley for the past week, Brown has generally fit in well and showed flashes of why Boston selected him third overall last June, but the Magic game was the clearest indication yet of his potential.
Brown told reporters that the Rising Stars snub will fuel his fire, and he declined an invite to participate in the dunk contest in order to “focus all my energy on being ready to help my team,” via ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Asked this week whether it’s best to learn on the fly for a bad team or on the bench for a good team, Brown was diplomatic.
“That’s tough to say,” Brown said, via the Providence Journal‘s Bill Doyle. “That’s a subjective question. I’m not saying everybody is the same, but for me it’s been great to be able to play less and just learn, and just learn and grow from all the vets and stuff that’s been around. It’s a great organization and I’m lucky to be here.”
This week’s rankings:
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / NBA Rookie Power Rankings: Celtics’ Jaylen Brown is starting to show his potential