Scouting Report: Kendall Brown Is a World-Class Athlete With a Raw Offensive Game
His upside is too mesmerizing to pass up.
Kendall Brown’s eye-popping athleticism vaults off the screen. For whatever else can be said about his game, the allure of his physical tools are too enticing to pass up.
At 6-8, 205 pounds, Brown has nice positional size for a shooting guard. Although he appears too skinny to be a true combo forward, Brown’s 6-11 wingspan coupled with his off-the-charts athleticism only tee off his profile.
There’s no beating around it, Brown’s scoring ability is raw in the truest sense of the word.
Brown’s biggest hurdle to stardom — or even just being an effective player at the next level — is his perimeter shooting.
The numbers support the claim: Brown is tallying 1.2 attempts on 34.1 3PT%. He hit only 14 triples during the year.
Opposing teams left Brown wide open on the perimeter and dared him to beat them from deep.
In fact, most of the time he appeared hesitant and unsure whether he should rip the shot attempt or not. He often took a few seconds before he would hoist up a 3-pointer or would pass up the shot.
His shot mechanics aren’t the worst. His feet stay squared, and he doesn’t have an elongated release. Still, his shot needs repetition and practice for him to become a daunting offensive threat.
He does, however, flash some shooting ability in the mid-range. Brown thrives off the catch in that middle area where he receives the pass, rises for a jumper and strokes it. Those attempts look smooth and mechanically sound. He doesn’t even dip the ball off the catch, he just hits it in rhythm.
But as you can imagine, Brown offers virtually nothing as a shot creator, let alone as a spot-up shooter. You won’t see Brown shoot off the dribble, hit off-balance jumpers, step backs, any of it. At least at this point in his development.
Despite that, Brown still managed to stay efficient. He shot a tidy 58.4 FG% and a blazing 63.8% on his 2-pointers while averaging 9.7 points.
That efficiency and effectiveness speak to his shot selection and propensity not to force the issue. But that’s also part of the conundrum.
Brown is incredibly passive on offense and doesn’t really provide much offensive creation. His offense emerges primarily from transition, off-ball movement and/or dribble drive motion.
As we talked about, Brown has electrifying athleticism, but he also possesses incredible instincts and court awareness as an off-ball cutter.
Brown can routinely be found as a lob threat on the baseline/dunker spot or on backdoor cuts. He has such a firm grasp on when his defender falls asleep and the cutting lanes open. With his athleticism, it’s an arduous task for defenders to recover after Brown gets a step.
He also operates well when attacking closeouts. When Baylor’s ball-handlers are able to create penetration and dish it out to Brown, he’s adept at attacking an unset defense with his steady handles and quick first step.
When he gets going downhill, Brown does a good job changing speeds with a gaudy start/stop ability.
He has stupendous body control as a finisher with a sound ability to finish through contact. He flashes some of the floater/runner ability, euro step and can finish with either hand.
Brown is a prototypical slasher, but he’ll need to refine his skillset and transform into a true threat even as a driver. As it stands, his role in the NBA from the get-go will be a bit suspect with how raw he is.
Still, his upside is tremendous and his playmaking prowess has intrigued scouts.
He boasts a really good feel on when defenders fall asleep and/or understands when he has corralled defenders in and opened passing lanes.
Brown does a solid job with eyes and displays quality vision. He’s just an intelligent passer who makes decisive decisions and has such a strong feel for getting his teammates the ball timely. He throws passes with plus velocity and accuracy.
It all roots back to his instincts, which funnels into his rebounding as well.
Obviously, his leaping ability and wingspan help when he crashes the glass, but Brown displays incredible anticipation as a rebounder.
He just has a feel for when rebounds are short/long, he boxes out well, commits to rebounding and grabs boards. Brown has tallied 4.9 rebounds per game, 1.7 of them on the offensive end.
Brown gets off the floor with ease and has an excellent second jump.
His physical tools are the backbone of his draft profile. As a defender, that sentiment remains true.
Brown has the tools to develop into a lockdown defender in the NBA, and he has shown flashes of it at Baylor.
He came in with a reputation of being an “elite defender,” but he hasn’t fully lived up to that at Baylor. Brown has the length and instincts to be a disruptive defender, and he often is. But his inconsistent defense is the predicament.
In Baylor’s scheme, Brown switches everything with ease and displays the ability to defend 1-3 and some power forwards.
But again, the inconsistency is the killer here. At times, he stays locked in on one-one defense, hounds ball-handlers, chases his man off-ball and slides well as a weak-side help defender.
Other times, he simply gets beat off the dribble, is late with his rotations, is susceptible in pick-and-roll situations and/or falls asleep to backdoor cutters.
He’ll need to really dig in to capture the defensive potential he’s capable of.
And that remains a theme with the overall portfolio. Brown’s upside is overflowing. He has the potential to hit stardom, but that’s never a guarantee.