Jabari Brown signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers out of the D-League and here is a scouting report on his game:
Situation: With Kobe Bryant out for the season and recent injuries to Ronnie Price and Nick Young, the Lakers called up Brown from the affiliated Los Angeles D-Fenders for depth at the shooting guard position. As the D-League’s leading scorer, Brown looks ready to contribute off the bench after averaging 24.4 points per game with the D-Fenders. He was considered a second round prospect after declaring for the NBA Draft as a junior at Missouri last season, but went undrafted and played in the Orlando Summer League with the Houston Rockets. He spent training camp with the Lakers before he was cut and acquired by the D-Fenders. Brown was named a D-League All-Star as a rookie and scored a season-high 50 points earlier this season. He’ll join former Missouri teammate Jordan Clarkson in the Laker backcourt.
Size/Athleticism: The 6-foot-5, 215 pound shooting guard has average length and quickness. He isn’t a spectacular athlete, but is solid in this aspect.
Ballhandling: Brown is a decent ballhandler that can run the break and occasionally operate in the pick-and-roll. He can use a step back, between the legs dribble to create space, but likely won’t spend time running the point in the NBA.
Shooting: This will be Brown’s biggest contribution at the next level. He’s shooting 39.2% from three-point range in the D-League after shooting 41.0% from deep at Missouri last season. Brown has also demonstrated a solid mid-range game, shooting 41.9% from 16-24 feet in the D-League. He displays excellent form with a smooth release.
Penetration: Brown has shown the ability to compliment his shooting with a dribble-drive game. He can attack the rim or use pump fakes to knock down one-dribble pull-ups. When he gets past his defender, Brown is shooting 54.2% from inside of 8 feet, ranking within the D-League average. He also gets to the line and shoots 7.4 free throws per game. Brown has displayed his well-rounded scoring arsenal, showing potential as more than just a spot-up shooter in the NBA.
Passing: Averaging 2.2 assists compared to 2.6 turnovers per game, Brown is an average passer. He can find the open man or make the extra pass, but can sometimes force the issue when pressured.
Defense: Brown isn’t a standout defender due to his average size and quickness. This will be a question at the next level because of his lack of elite physical tools.
Rebounding: Contributing 4.1 rebounds per game, Brown can go inside for a couple rebounds each contest. He’s more effective leaking out and spotting up on the wing in transition rather than crashing the glass.
Versatility: Brown will likely be limited to the shooting guard position at the next level. He’ll be a floor-spacing shooter with potential as an all-around scoring threat.
Final Analysis: As the top scorer in the D-League, Brown will provide some much needed offense for the Lakers. While he’s a knock-down shooter, there’s a chance Brown could be more than just a shooting specialist in the NBA. There are questions on the other end of the floor, but his offensive explosion as a rookie has been too impressive to leave him in the D-League. Brown has a chance to prove himself and could give the Lakers a young asset in a rebuilding year.