The San Antonio Spurs have three first-round draft picks this year and one could very well be spent on Kansas wingman Christian Braun. The 6-foot-7, 218-pound junior has been a steadying force for the Jayhawks this season and has been part of the highest-scoring duo in the Big 12.
Braun isn’t a true two or three, but he’s a pretty good wing. He can handle the ball when needed, shoots it consistently, and should settle into his role nicely for the Spurs as a spot-up shooter and shot-creator when necessary. Here are his stats heading into the NCAA Tournament.
- 14.6 PPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 2.6 APG, 6.4 RPG
- 50.3 FG%, 37.7 3P%, 74.8 FT%
- 20.4 PER, 117.1 ORtg, 97.8 DRtg
Braun is an excellent defender that shouldn’t be overlooked. He often is tasked with putting the clamps on the other team’s best perimeter player. He moves well against the speedier guards and is strong enough to hold his own against the bigger ones. The really short guards can be tough for him, but he will likely be sticking with forwards and some bigger shooting guards in the league.
While Braun has been known as a spot-up shooter, he has become a much better creator for himself off the dribble. He isn’t a one or two dribble pull-up guy, but he can get to the rim or he will find a teammate who’s open. He’s been forced into more dribbling and offensive responsibilities though with the loss of some guys over the last year or two. He’s overcome some inefficiencies in his game to do it, but he is much better off for it.
Off-the-ball movement and cutting is going to be a major calling card for Braun at the next level. He might be this draft’s best cutter and that will certainly provide some value at a potential 18th or 19th pick.