The San Antonio Spurs got a phenomenal win on Monday night against the Houston Rockets thanks to the do-it-all nature of one small forward in Kawhi Leonard. He had 39 points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks. One of those blocks was a well-timed one on MVP candidate James Harden to essentially put the game away for the Spurs. There’s one other player who can do a little bit of everything like that in the upcoming draft and we are here to talk about him.
This week’s prospect watch is Oregon’s Dillon Brooks. He has been a hero for the Ducks on many occasions this season and last, and he was the main reason the Pac 12 title contenders made it to the Elite Eight last season. He’s also led the team to two regular season conference titles, so the kid is a born winner. Here are his measurables:
- 6’7”, 225 pounds
- 16.0 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.7 RPG (2016-17 stats)
- 52.6 FG%, 41.6 3P%, 61.5 True Shooting Percentage (takes into account what all of his shots are worth)
Brooks could be a nice little player for the Spurs, but he really shouldn’t go under the radar considering his team is expected to make a deep run during March Madness. You can expect to see at least one truly magical moment from him as he’s already hit three game-winners this season against UCLA, Tennessee and California. That should also tell you that he isn’t shy in the big moments and that’s an intangible teams will always appreciate.
He has been a serious mismatch as a combo forward this year because he can beat so many people off the dribble that cover him, but he may struggle to do so at the next level where he will likely be pegged as just a small forward. However, he’s a great straight line driver and he can easily finish above the rim. He would almost always rather dunk on someone than avoid any contact and get the lay in, which can be good or bad depending on a team’s preference for a power player or more a finesse guy.
He also knows how to work the mid to high-post game and is a consistent shooter from there. With the mid-range jumper potentially making a comeback — or at least that’s my dream — Brooks has shown that he could be a valuable tool in that area of the floor. Couple his ability to hit a variety of shots in the area — stepbacks and fadeaways more often than not — with his proficiency when driving the ball and that’s a 15-foot radius that makes him nearly unguardable. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a willing passer and will find his cutters from that high-post area.
He’s improved on defense as he’s gotten his defensive rating to drop from 102.6 last season to 95.9 this season. However, he will have to get better moving laterally and show consistency in his effort. If that can be fixed then there’s no reason to think that Brooks could be a nice pick near the end of the first round.