2022 NBA G League rosters won’t take shape until October 17th when NBA roster cuts are completed. After that, it will still be another week until the 2023 NBA G League Draft. On Tuesday, however, the Austin Spurs announced with the South Bay Lakers that impacts both parts of the roster construction. Austin acquired the retaining player rights to Chaundee Brown Jr. in exchange for their first-round pick in next year’s G League Draft, and the returning player rights to guard Galen Robinson Jr.
Breaking Down the Chaundee Brown Jr. Trade
Brown, 23, played college basketball at Wake Forest through his junior year. He transferred to Michigan for his senior season in 2020-2021. Going undrafted, he signed with the Lakers on a two-way contract before being waived last December and landing quickly with the Atlanta Hawks. The 6’5” guard finished the season with Atlanta on a two-way contract that was ended earlier this month per Spotrac. Still, South Bay had returned his returning player rights.
In the trade, Austin gains a guard who has similar measurables to former Spur Dejounte Murray. Brown played 30 games with the Lakers in the G League last year, averaging 15.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. It is worth noting that the team had him listed as a forward. The Spurs organization has a documented affinity for lengthy guards, and the team listing him as a guard in the trade is certainly intriguing. He’s also quite the pickup for Robinson, a smaller guard who the Spurs have already gotten a good look at.
Robinson, 25, played the last three seasons with Austin. In 65 games, he averaged 8.7 points and 5.1 assists per game, as well as a steal per appearance. A more traditional point guard at 6’1”, he saw limited duty with players like Tre Jones and Josh Primo taking guard minutes in Austin.
Comparing the two players is difficult because their play styles and usage have been so different. On paper, Robinson has a significant edge from beyond the arc. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts through three seasons in Austin. Interestingly enough, however, Brown blew him away at the free throw line, carrying a season clip of 83 percent last season.
Previewing the Austin Spurs 2022 Roster
Brown will join the Spurs’ two-way contract players Jordan Hall and Dominick Barlow on the Austin roster heading into the season. The team also currently holds the returning player rights to Ky Bowman and Jarrod Uthoff. Other players to watch to return this season include Kaleb Johnson, Nate Renfro, Kylor Kelley, and Robert Woodard II.
Moving their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA G League Draft is well worth the cost for a look at a player like Brown. Austin has an abundance of picks in this year’s draft after making a number of moves last February.