One of the little known facts about Jaylen Brown is that while in high school he was the captain of his school’s chess team.
So as the fourth-year wing enters his first contract year in the NBA, it’s no surprise he’s been looking to hire an agent for the first time in his career, a move that should benefit him in the now as well as the future. Rumor has it he's already chosen ex-teammate Al Horford's agent, Jason Glushon, to represent him.
Brown is taking a similar approach towards his play on the court which after spending most of his career playing both guard positions and some small forward, expect to see an expanded game this season that will have the 6-foot-7 Brown playing some power forward, too.
It’s the kind of move that will shine an even brighter light on Brown’s versatility, which comes in handy when you’re talking about the future of the NBA -- and from Brown’s perspective, making sure you’re part of that future.
It’s a successful season for Brown if …
… his playing time continues to exceed the 25-minute barrier. When he played at least 25 minutes last season, the Celtics were 25-16 (.610 winning percentage). When he played less than 25 minutes, Boston was 18-15 (.545 winning percentage). Because of the versatility that Brown has shown in the past and continues to display now, Boston is going to need him to be a defensive jack-of-all-trades this season. And when the postseason rolls around, playoff Jaylen has to show up. Brown has never been one of Boston’s top scoring options, and yet his numbers in the playoffs per-36 minutes are what you expect from one of your primary starters: 17.9 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from behind the arc.
It’s a disappointing season for Brown if …
… he gets lost in the player shuffle and allows that to affect his play and potentially, his contract situation going forward. He has displayed a level of mental toughness during his time in Boston that makes one believe he’ll be fine. But this is new territory for the soon-to-be 23-year-old Brown, going through his first season with free agency likely around the corner. The hope is that he’ll continue to handle whatever is thrown his way in a professional manner and not let it impact his play, which was an issue at times for ex-Celtic Terry Rozier. After a strong postseason in 2018, Rozier did not handle his minutes being limited with the return of Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward is going to see a noticeable uptick in his playing time which may cut into the minutes that Brown receives. How he handles that will be one of the keys to both his success and the success of the Celtics this season.
Look for Brown to have a season similar to last year as far as being someone who floats in and out of the Celtics’ starting lineup. Brown showed that he could play with a level of consistency, both with the first group as well as being a major contributor off Boston’s bench. And while Brown’s individual numbers are similar as a starter and as a reserve, the most noticeable difference is the impact that Brown tends to make when he’s with the reserve unit. As a starter, Brown had a plus/minus of minus-1.5 points last season while his plus/minus as a backup was plus-3.4.
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