No. 3 – Kendall Brown
Kendall Brown, who was a highly touted prospect heading into the 2023 NBA Draft, would be an interesting target for the Milwaukee Bucks.
He was a consensus five-star recruit ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect by ESPN and the No. 11 overall prospect by The Athletic. Brown was praised for his athleticism, length, and defensive potential and was widely considered to be one of the best small forwards in his draft class. This was all largely due to his potential to be a versatile player who could play multiple positions on the wing. Scouts were incredibly high on his physical tools, which allowed him to defend one through four.
Brown is a 6-foot-8, 205-pound wing. He is an athletic and versatile player who can play multiple positions. He is a good scorer, rebounder, and defender. He is still developing, but he has the potential to be a solid role player in the NBA. Scouting reports gushed over Brown’s ability to jump high above the rim, change direction quickly, and move with explosiveness. While his ability to space the floor is in question, he can make cuts to the basket for easy layups or lobs.
However, Brown’s stock dropped massively in the lead-up to the draft. Some scouts questioned his shooting ability and his decision-making skills. Brown also had a disappointing performance at the NBA Combine, where he shot just 17 percent from 3-point range. He was eventually drafted by his hometown Timberwolves with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft. He then later signed a two-way contract with the Pacers on July 1 of that year.
In college, Brown played just one season at Baylor, where his physical profile did shine, but his inconsistency from the perimeter was exposed. Still, he managed to put up respectable numbers in those two years. He was voted Preseason Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year to start his collegiate campaign, during which he earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors two times. As a freshman, Brown averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. It’s worth mentioning he was also named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team to end the season.
Perhaps his best trait at this level is his versatility. Brown can play multiple positions as he can slot in seamlessly at the shooting guard, small forward, or power forward positions. This gives the Pacers a lot of flexibility in their lineups. Brown has the potential to be a lockdown defender in the NBA.
Although he’s mostly a straight-line driver, he’s developing his creativity with the ball. He also just shot 34.1 percent from distance in his lone season at Baylor, which means he’ll need to get more comfortable shooting from NBA distance if he truly wants to co-exist with Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court.
At the end of the day, though, Brown is still a young player. He’ll need to gain more experience in the NBA, which the Milwaukee Bucks might be able to provide with some of their own free agents possibly departing from the team this offseason. But there’s definitely something there, especially considering the hype that followed him in his college season.
There’s a catch, though. On February 27, Brown had to undergo surgery to deal with a tibia stress fracture in his right leg and was ruled out indefinitely by the Pacers, as a result. It’s unclear if they’ll be having the 48th pick back, considering they’re in rebuild mode and are actively looking for pieces to develop immediately.
The Bucks, on the other hand, are in need of a backup forward who can provide energy and athleticism off the bench. Given his physical gifts, Brown would be a good fit for that role.
It’s still yet to be revealed how the Bucks plan to acquire more developmental pieces to build for the future, but snagging two-way guys the rest of the league has given up on is definitely a start.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis as the offseason begins.