2022 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles: Kendall Brown

Prospect profiles continue on Grizzly Bear Blues. For more information, see “Memphis Grizzlies 2022 draft coverage” group to see more of our profiles on draft prospects and their potential matches with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kendall Brown, Guard, Baylor

  • 6’8″, 6’11” wingspan, 201 pounds, 19 years old, from Cottage Grove, MN
  • Last season at Baylor: In 34 games (27 minutes per game) – 9.7 points on 58.4% shooting (34.1% from 3, 68.9% from the FT line), 4.9 rebounds, 1 .9 assists, 1.0 steals
  • 2020-2021 season at Sunrise Christian Academy: In 20 games – 15.4 points at 60.1% shooting (33.3% from 3, 79.2% from the FT line), 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 Assists, 1.8 steals
  • 3 STRENGTH STATISTICS (per tankathon): Field Goal Percentage (58.4%), Effective Field Goal Percentage (61.5%), Draft Age (19)
  • 3 STATS TO IMPROVE: Score (9.7), Predicted NBA 3P Percentage (32.6%), PER (18.4)
  • AWARDS AND AWARDS: 2021-22 Big 12 All-Freshman, Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year
  • CURRENT BIG BOARD PLACEMENT: 20 (Tankathon), 24 (The ringtone), 33 (ESPN), 23 (CBS sports), 22 (the athlete), 32 (Bleacher report)

The Grizzlies succeed in designing a specific type of player. The organization has drawn to players who have spent time in college and gained valuable experience; Brandon Clarke, Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman all had very successful college careers and dropped out because most teams prioritize raw talent typically found in 18- and 19-year-olds.

So last year it came as a surprise when the Grizzlies drafted Ziaire Williams – the definition of raw talent. After the Grizzlies shone in the crucial playoff minutes, it feels like the Grizzlies have found gold again in Williams. Now the Grizzlies face a prospect similar in many ways to Williams.

Kendall Brown, like Williams, is a 6’1″ 19-year-old who was a five-star recruit and once placed in the top 15 in his respective classes. Brown is an extremely athletic winger who can leap out of the gym. His size and quick turnaround make him a formidable defender and an up-and-coming offensive talent. Sound familiar?

Despite rebounding from the NCAA tournament in the Round of 32, Brown gained many important collegiate experiences. Baylor has been among the top five teams for most of the season, and Brown has averaged 27 minutes per game in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball. The attitude Brown plays with as a 19-year-old, coupled with his college experience and raw talent, make him an enticing candidate for the Grizzlies.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

areas of strength

Brown has the potential to become an elite NBA defenseman. With such an impressive physical profile, his size and speed allow him to defend 1-4. This makes him a great fit for modern NBA defenses, where Switchability is crucial. Last year he averaged just one steal and under half a block per game, but Brown collected takeaways in high school.

Brown has a good awareness of such a young prospect. He always knows where he needs to be and consistently makes the right cuts that often result in simple buckets. His off-ball feel helps clear the ground, resulting in an efficient offense. Last year, Baylor was 8th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. Additionally, his place awareness and passing instinct show promise that he could become a solid playmaker.

His edge touch makes him one of the best finishers in the draft. Brown also has explosive jumping skills and excellent body control that make him dangerous up close. Brown recorded a true shooting percentage of 63%. He can be dangerous in several roles; Last season at Baylor he averaged:

  • Transition: 1,241 points per ball possession (82nd percentile)
  • Cuts: 1.533 PPP (94th percentile)
  • Drives: 1,494 PPP (96th percentile)

(Pro Synergy Sports)

Brown’s ability to be a versatile goalscorer would shine alongside Ja Morant and Bane.

areas of improvement

What could make or break Brown’s pro career is his three-point shot. He’s averaged about 34% out of three at Baylor, but he needs to develop at a professional level. Tankathon projects him as the 32.6 percent three-point shooter in the NBA. That’s a better percentage than Jaren Jackson Jr., Ziaire Williams and Dillon Brooks who shot last season, but Brown will likely be asked to take more than the 1.2 threes he attempted in a game against Baylor .

Brown’s long-ball is about a lot more than a percentage. He shoots at low volume and always prefers to drive or overtake. If Brown doesn’t go above and beyond as a slasher and cutter, NBA defense will squander his advantages. His reluctance to shoot often causes him to take a back seat. Brown also struggles in midfield, often acting as a one-dimensional goalscorer.

While Brown has the tools to be a defensive threat, he often dozes off and lets his opponents score with backdoor cuts. His inconsistencies will be glaring at a professional level as players take advantage of Brown’s lax off-ball defense.

For Brown, his weaknesses are incredibly fixable. With his defensive ability and offensive know-how, he can undoubtedly improve on these weaknesses. With the right attitude, Brown can become both a solid NBA three-pointer and a consistent full-back.

Fit with the Grizzlies

Kendall Brown is just a perfect match for the Grizzlies.

Brown is a solid defender and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be successful. Being paired with Morant would allow Brown to enjoy secondary matchups. Without worrying about being the primary ball handler, Brown can run the baseline and find holes in defense.

As implied above, however, much of what Brown brings to the table arrived with Williams a year ago. You can’t have too many big switchable wings in the modern NBA, but it’s worth considering whether the Grizzlies should now add a big guard/wing that’s reluctant to shoot. As contenders, the Grizzlies should draw as needed and hope to fill in any gaps.

Two of the biggest question marks about the Grizzlies’ offseason are Tyus Jones and Dillon Brooks. If Brooks is traded, it might be wise to add another big wing like Brown, but if Jones leaves with a free hand and the Grizzlies need a new backup point guard, Brown shouldn’t be the replacement. He would play most efficiently with Morant or Jones, not in their place.

The Grizzlies have a lot of options with picks 22 and 29. I think Brown can be an impactful player, but Memphis should be heading in a different direction at 22, whether as another prospect or as part of a trade package. If Brown is somehow still available at 29, he’s a value pick and I’d be excited to welcome him to Memphis.

Statistics on Sports-Reference, Barttorvik and Synergy Sports

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