Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown was immediately thrown into a peculiar position when he heard his name called third overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. The majority of top-five draft picks end up on rosters that are in desperate need of their services. This is not the case for the 19-year-old Brown.
The Boston Celtics, thanks to the pleasure of owning the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected first-round pick, had the luxury of being the fifth seed in the playoffs while also landing the third selection of the 2016 draft. As a result, one of the top talents in the 2016 freshman class found himself on a deep roster that was already established in the league. That talent ended up being the physical specimen out of Cal.
This interesting development begs a question that A. Sherrod Blakely brought up as CSNNE.com's Question of the Day: Will Jaylen Brown spend any time in the D-League?
This may seem like a no-brainer at first. I mean, Anthony Bennett and Hasheem Thabeet, two brutal busts, were the only top-three picks in the past 10 drafts who have logged minutes in the D-League. There's no way that Brown could be that bad.
But, this is actually a very valid question for two reasons:
The first goes back to the unusually high talent level on his new squad. Blakely further explains this implication:
Brown joins a Celtics squad that has improved its win total every year under Stevens and has been to the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
In addition, the Celtics added their first impact free agent (Al Horford) who isn’t well past his prime, and are poised to be among the top teams in the East this season.
In addition, Brown will be playing behind Jae Crowder who was one of the NBA’s most improved players a year ago. And on top of that, Boston re-signed Gerald Green whose NBA career began when the Celtics drafted him straight out of high school in 2005.
So, the minutes available to Brown won’t be easy to come by.
The second glaring issue is that the rookie may simply not be ready for the pros. Danny Ainge insisted that they got "their guy" after the hectic draft night was complete, which may be true. But that doesn't mean Brown can make an impact from the get-go. Ainge selected him for his unteachable athleticism and the potential that goes along with it.
In reality, Brown's offensive game will most likely take some time. He struggled to shoot (43.1% from the field) and take care of the rock (3.1 turnovers per game) in his one year at the collegiate level.
But at the end of the day, Brown's great athleticism, something that the Celtics were deprived of last season, should be enough to avoid a trip to Maine. Even with Gerald Green now in the mix, Brown's physical tools and defensive potential may find him immediate minutes for the 2016-17 Celtics.
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images Erik Johnson 9/19/2016 01:36:00 PM Tweet Edit