9. Sterling Brown
Sterling Brown didn’t get much a chance as a rookie last season until the latter half of the year. By the end of the year, Brown was flashing the strength, shooting and defense that had made him a sleeper pick for Milwaukee.
This season, while seeing more playing time under Budenholzer, Brown has continued to develop into a potent asset for the Bucks off the bench.
Brown is averaging 13 points per 36 minutes, shooting 47 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep. Brown has also found a specialty, becoming a dead-eye corner marksman off numerous catch-and-shoot opportunities given to him from Giannis, Brogdon, Bledsoe and Middleton.
He’s also proved himself on the defensive end, using his stout frame and long arms to be a pest on the perimeter and in the paint. Budenholzer has even used Brown has an undersized power forward, and Brown has held his own against much bigger opponents.
Reliable is a good word to describe Brown. The Bucks know what they’re going to get from him night in and night out. He’s going to bring high-energy, strong defense and can knock down the open three when given the opportunity.
You can just tell Brown is going to be one of those players that will stick around in the NBA for years, coming off the bench and just being a solid player.
Brown turns 24 on February 10, which puts him on the relatively old side for a player in just his second season, but Brown’s value isn’t so much about his potential as his reliability.
His ceiling may not be as high as others, but his floor is higher than most second round picks.
He’s still on his rookie deal which, again, is valuable to NBA teams. Brown won’t be the fulcrum of a blockbuster trade, but he’s a valuable add-on that can really sweeten and close a deal.