Markel Brown, 44th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, has signed a two year deal with the Brooklyn Nets, according to the team’s website.
The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Markel Brown and forward Cory Jefferson to multi-year contracts, General Manager Billy King announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Brown, the 44th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He recently completed his senior season at Oklahoma State, averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game and earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second consecutive season. During his junior season, Brown averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.1 minutes per game.
The first season of Brown’s deal is a minimum, guaranteed year with the second season fully non-guaranteed. He’ll make about $507,000 this season.
Brown is an immensely athletic, albeit undersized, shooting guard that gets out in transition, finishes at the rim, and gives high energy on both ends. He’s not even 6’4 in shoes, but his near-6’9 wingspan should help make up for deficient height on the defensive end. Undoubtedly, he’ll catch casual fans’ eyes with his dunking prowess — and should almost assuredly be invited to this season’s dunk contest — but there is more than meets the eye with Brown.
In the half court on offense, he has excellent instincts coming off of and around screens and does a good job of squaring his feet in these catch-and-shoot situations. His midrange game is slightly better than his three-point shot, but there is solid potential for him to develop both skill sets. It would be unfair to call his shooting ability elite, but being able to make shots from anywhere in the 10-23 feet area does have value. Beyond that, he’s also excellent on cuts and finished at a 67% clip at the rim this season. There is definitely a need to improve his ball-handling and creation skills, but anyone who can make shots off of screens and run in transition has a shot to stick.
Defensively, the effort level isn’t always there. But his long arms allow him to get into passing lanes and his athleticism should allow him potential to be a difference maker if he so chooses. This is probably the side of the ball where he can make the most difference if he puts his mind to it. The reason for that is that the Nets’ guard/wing positions have become crowded, with their deals for Sergey Karasev, Jarrett Jack, and Bojan Bogdanovic, as well as their re-signing of Alan Anderson. None of those guys are good defenders, so Brown could endear himself to incoming coach Lionel Hollins by making a mark there.
I think Brown has a better than average chance to stick in the NBA. He needs to overcome his size, but there are real skills here that should translate well.