Spurs Prospect Watch: Jalen Brunson

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 28: Jalen Brunson #1 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the basket during the first half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on January 28, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs officially have the 18th pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which is considerably higher than they are used to seeing in years past. They have some great options that early in the draft despite this year being quite top-heavy. While this particular prospect might be a bit of a reach, he is probably one of the more pro-ready players in this draft.

Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson was phenomenal this season, becoming the Big East Player of the Year and Associated Press Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard has quite the unique set of skills that Spurs would likely enjoy watching on a court.

Here are his stats:

  • 18.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.1 RPG
  • 52.1 FG%, 40.8 3P%, 80.2 FT%
    • Per-40 stats:
      • 23.8 PPG, 5.8 APG, 3.8 RPG
  • 130.7 ORtg, 104.1 DRtg

A comparable player to Brunson is former (short time) Spurs guard Andre Miller. He’s not going to wow anyone with his athleticism or explosiveness, but he does pretty much everything else exceptionally well. He posts up incredibly well and knows how to get nearly any shot he wants from that spot on the floor. He’s got a bevy of moves and gets to the free throw line because of his pump fakes down low.

Brunson is also an excellent shooter from all over the floor as demonstrated by his shooting percentages. He’s a crafty ball handler and is adept at scoring on the move. He’s a good, tough, smart guard who can run an offense and won’t be goaded into changing the tempo to something other than what he wants.

While the two-time National Champion is a solid enough defender and is a solid athlete, he does have short arms for someone his size and can over dribble at times. The short arms are concerning mostly on the defensive end as it makes it easier to get passes and shots over him. The over dribbling can lead to turnovers, but he is an unselfish teammate, which the Spurs should like.

He might be a stretch to nab this early in the draft, but Brunson is going to be a good player. It’s going to come down to the Spurs deciding if they want another guard on the roster and what they do in the days leading up to the draft in regards to trading other guards or letting Tony Parker walk this summer after he turns 36.



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