Jaylen Brown ranked above Gordon Hayward on ESPN Top-100 list
Oh, how a year changes things…
Hayward was ranked as the 20th-best player heading into 2017-18 but dropped a massive 20 spots after sustaining a freak injury in the opening minutes of the season. The curators of the list provided an explanation for the deep slide for the former All-Star forward.
“Peak Gordon Hayward — the do-it-all 2017 All-Star who ended Utah’s playoff drought — is likely a top-25 player, but season-ending injuries bring unknowns. The Kyrie Irving/Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum/Gordon Hayward/Al Horford lineup is going to be its own kind of switching, shooting and smothering death trap for teams if Hayward returns to form. And Hayward being great again is the real key to both that fivesome and Boston’s chances to compete for a title right now.”
Brown was unranked last season, despite having a year under his belt, but his season-long prowess as a starter has proved that he is one of the up-and-coming talents at his position.
The Cal product put up 14.5 points per game last season, and while he shot much better from the field (46.5 percent) and the 3-point line (39.5 percent), his free-throw percentage (64.4) is still rather subpar for a man at his position. Brown rebounded much better, a shade under five boards per game, but his all-around game is still being sculpted — making this a rather puzzling ranking.
Brown is still reaching into his all-around potential and that’s likely why he was ranked this high, expected to have a breakout year anytime soon now, especially with an impending rookie extension likely awaiting him in the near future.