Boston Celtics 2017-18 player preview: Jaylen Brown

BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Jaylen Brown
BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Jaylen Brown /

Second-year swingman Jaylen Brown is ready to build off his rookie season success and take a major leap in the 2017-18 season for the Boston Celtics.

Following a very eventful offseason of transactions, the Boston Celtics have made it clear that they are invested in their future.  A major key to that future is the 2016 No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown.

Now entering his second season in the NBA, Brown is one of just four players returning from last year’s Eastern Conference finals team.  His youth and brief experience combined with his offensive and defensive talent brings excitement to a Celtics team primed to compete as of the league’s top teams for years to come.

With the trades involving both Avery Brady and Jae Crowder, Brown will have an opportunity to secure a starting role in the 2016-17 season.  Ironically, it was filling in for an injured Bradley during the 2016-17 season where Brown flashed as a rookie.

Some of that promise was also on display during the team’s playoff run as he was one of the few bright spots in the Eastern Conference finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

Looking back at 2016-17 

Jaylen Brown had an up-and-down rookie season in which he had to earn valuable minutes off the bench.

In 78 games last season, he averaged 6.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists.  Not staggering numbers for a top 5 NBA pick, but not many top 5 picks have an opportunity to play on a deep playoff contending team like the Celtics.

Not only did Brown get an opportunity to learn from players like Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Jae Crowder, he earned valuable playoff experience in his rookie season.

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As mentioned above, he really stepped up in the opportunities he was given as a starter filling in for Brady.  Not only did he display a level of promise and maturity as a rookie towards the end of the 2016-17 season, his focus to grow as a complete NBA player was well on display during the NBA Summer League and throughout the preseason.

Previewing 2017-18

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Watching how Jaylen Brown, 2017 first-round pick Jayson Tatum and fourth-year guard Marcus Smart emerge with increased playing time this season will add a level of excitement to the season.

All eyes will be on Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but the improvement of Brown’s all-around game could become the catalyst in the team contending for the NBA finals.

That is expecting a lot from a second-year player, however, I believe Brown could help fill the void left by Avery Bradley in scoring and on the defensive end.  In fact, I think Brown may end up a bit better than Bradley by the end of the season.

As long as he stays focused and committed, I predict Jaylen Brown will be a double-digit scorer who will bring a high level of intensity to the Boston Celtics starting lineup.  If he learns to become a finisher on his drives to the hoop, the 20-year-old talent could present nightmares for opposing defenses, especially playing alongside Irving and Hayward.

Next: Boston Celtics 2017-18 player preview: Terry Rozier

Will there be periods where Jaylen Brown struggles?  Sure.  To not expect that from a second-year player is not realistic.  But, with his level of maturity of a player, he will learn from those periods of struggle and strengthen his game.