Brown was traded from OKC to Boston and then eventually found his way to Dallas. Dallas landed a true steal in Brown honestly. He looked like a rebounding-energetic monster with the Thunder. When given a full allotment of minutes, he can put in some major damage. In 43 total games with the Thunder (and starting 32), he averaged a nice 8.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, .7 steals and 1.1 blocks in 21.4 minutes a game. Imagine if he got 36 minutes a game; he averaged a sexy 14.5 points, 15 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 swats per 36 minutes. In terms of competition, he only has Dwight Powell and maybe Willie-Cauley Stein in front of him. If Powell needs any time off, Brown will get some significant run. He will also have fun with Luka Doncic looking for him in the pick and roll game.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson missed much of last season due to injury. Now that he’s healthy and in his third season, he will be looking at a big season. He only played in eleven games last season, but he averaged some serviceable numbers: 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks a game. Jackson Jr. will be getting more opportunity to expand on his game this year. Be prepared for the Most Improved Player chatter to heat up as the season progresses. His competition for minutes, Brandon Clarke, was a DNP in several games in the latter part of last season when Jackson was healthy so keep that in mind.
Claxton came up big last year. After Deandre Jordan’s mediocre run in Brooklyn, Claxton proved he was a steal in his draft. The 31st pick in the 2019 draft put up averages of 6.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.3 blocks a game in his sophomore year. Per 36 minutes, he put up a strong 12.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 blocks a game. With LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin more than likely coming off the bench, Claxton will start the season as the starting center for the Nets. His opportunity on offense will be minimal due to the presence of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant. However, the young center will be given the keys to run the center spot for a franchise that’s looking for their first championship in decades.
Marshall was an undrafted player in the 2020 NBA draft and proved to be a major steal. He came out of nowhere to average a decent 7.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks a game. Per 36 minutes, he averaged some stat-stuffing numbers: 12.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks a game. The Pelicans were fighting for a playoff spot last season and Marshall was a major reason why they almost made it. His game is really fun and represents a playmaking-three/four that also happens to be a great defender. Now, if the Pelicans opt to start Marshall, he could post some good assist and rebound numbers. If not, he will be a major spark coming off the bench for this club.