Cal basketball: Jaylen Brown to make Thursday announcement — expected to head to NBA

Cal’s small forward Jaylen Brown will make an announcement Thursday morning about whether he intends to enter the NBA draft, and all signs point to the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year turning pro.

Brown, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound native of suburban Atlanta, is universally projected as a lottery pick, likely a top-10 selection. The website Draftexpress.com has him going No. 4 overall and NBADraft.net envisions him at No. 9.

Sources say Brown has spent recent weeks training in the Los Angeles area.

Sunday  Monday is the deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA draft. Players who do not sign with an agent have until May 25 to change their minds and return to college.

Fellow Cal freshman Ivan Rabb of Oakland has not made an announcement, but sources indicate the 6-10 power forward may opt to return to school.

The NBA draft will be held June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

A first-team all-Pac-12 selection, Brown is an explosive, physically mature player who attacks the basket and is terrific in the open court.

He averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and had 27 double-digit scoring games in 33 outings, including six of 20 points or more.

He earned Freshman All-America honors by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association of America.

But Brown was an erratic shooting, converting just 29.4 percent from the 3-point arc and 54.6 percent from the free throw lines. And he slumped late in the season, averaging just 7.8 points and shooting just 10 for 48 over the Bears’ final five games, including a season-low four points in Cal’s NCAA tournament opening-round loss to Hawaii.

Jeff Faraudo

  • CalBearAddict

    While I have expected Jaylen to be a one-and-done since day one, his performance over the last 5 games (arguably the most important of the season) had me thinking he might stay rather than chase the money the NBA will offer.

    While he is an incredibly gifted athlete, his ball handling skills as well as his shooting both could benefit from another year or two in college. He has been a turnover machine most of the season when trying to take a defender off the dribble. If he does decide to leave, I wish him all the best but hold out a small glimmer of hope that he stays to develop his game a little more.

  • Rob Bear

    Wish him all the best, albeit he will forever be remembered as leading the Bears to a 3rd place finish and unlike Kidd, zero history in the tournament.

  • GoBears49

    1. Can’t go left (or maybe I should say “won’t go left”).
    2. Shooting is bad, except near the basket, and at the end of the season his inside game really suffered as well. He is only 6’7″, which will make it harder for him to get his shot off inside in the bigger pro players who are also much better defenders than those in college.
    3. Drives to the basket were taken away at the end of the year, as they were expected, forcing him to end up shooting farther away from the basket than at the beginning of the year and also contributed to his charging fouls (Brown has not learned he is entitled to take the direct path to the basket if someone is standing in his way).
    4. Like someone said below, is a turnover machine. I don’t think he dribbles well and has an unusual trait of keeping his head down when trying to dribble through a crowd.

    Brown reminds me a bit, for us “oldies” of Jumpin’ Jackie Ridgle. Had the quickest first step of anyone I’ve seen at Cal and could jump to the ceiling, but he couldn’t shoot and he was only 6’5″. He lasted a half year for the Cleveland Cavs, probably because of his poor shooting.

    Brown is making a big mistake in leaving Cal, as I think he could learn to fix his negatives more at Cal by playing than he will in the pro’s while sitting on the bench.

    BTW, I will remind everyone that I earlier commented that Rabb’s uncle told me before a Cal game that he thinks Rabb has a good chance to stay all four years at Cal. Now there’s a smart guy.

  • GoBears49

    BTW, I’ve recently started to watch Warriors games and am amazed at how much team ball they play and are so good at it, especially in relation to college ball.

    I improve my zydeco and cajun dancing while watching videos of people who are good at it doing their moves, and try to emulate some of them.

    I don’t understand why Coach Martin and his staff don’t do essentially the same thing, breaking down a bunch of Warrior tapes into their “move” categories, putting multiple examples of each type of passing moves together, and then show the tape created to the team. That would be the beginning process of teaching Cal the “best of the Warriors” passing repertoire. Showing the tape that was created is the first step. Couldn’t hurt and could really help Cal learn the passing game, and from the best there is at it in the pro’s.

  • eastcoastbear

    You cannot be making a mistake (Go) if the NBA is telling you that you will be a top 10 pick. As an example the 5th choice in the draft gets $7 million over two years and up to $17 million over 4 years and If successful after that the sky is the limit give the escalating salary cap in the NBA. Would you really advise a player to return to college for another year, where the salary is zero, and risk getting hurt ? NBA team drafts these days for potential, if you look at the projected first round picks the majority are 19-20 years old and all will need to develop more in the pros. Brown is a smart kid and he has taken his time to make this decision. Wish him well. He really made a statement last year when he choose Cal, coming all the way from Georgia. Go Bears and Go Brown.

  • disqus_Gcxg7NOuQs

    I agree with eastcoastbear that if he’s confident he’ll be a top 10 pick, it’s hard to justify staying. Jaylen Brown is the kind of player who would have made the leap directly from high school had the NBA not required players to take one year between high school and the draft. A lot of those high school kids didn’t pan out – Jaylen could go either way based on some of the holes in his game, but being a top 10 pick guarantees incredible wealth regardless of NBA career longevity.

    My counsel to any underclassmen (not that they’re asking for my counsel) is to declare for the draft but do not hire an agent. You have a month to test the waters and see where you’ll end up. Worst case, you can always come back to school, but if you hire an agent, you close a door that doesn’t need to be closed.

  • covinared

    I wish Jaylen well and will try to forget how bad he was the last few games he played for us and focus on all the great things he did during the season. He really is a special player and a seems like a great kid. Too bad money is so important that someone as intellectually gifted as him has no rational choice but to drop out of college.

  • GoBears49


    It was great that Brown came to Cal. I really enjoyed watching him play. But his game now is really one dimensional — all about driving to the basket but teams were stopping that play at the end of the season. The pro game now is increasingly about making the 3, which Brown is not good at all (but possibly could be with a lot of practice). And Brown is not tall enough to be a dominating inside player.

    I understand about the money he is getting, but it is possible he could get more if he upped his game in college. Could extend his career a lot because I think he would learn more, from his additional playing time in college, than sitting on the bench in the pro’s. So, over his total pro career, Brown might make a lot more money if he stayed in college on more year. But that is a long term view that most people won’t do — just take the sure thing now and hope the long term future will somehow take care of itself.

  • GoBears49

    BTW, I was down on Brown’s game, in this blog, way before his late season swoon. I wish him the best but I predict he will not be playing much in the NBA for at least a few years till he learns to vary his game and, most of all, become a much better shooter, particularly from the outside.

    Wallace actually has a much better all round game than Brown, but he also needs to improve his outside shooting to be a factor in the NBA. Wallace has been working on it for a few years now. His outside shot has gotten somewhat better, but you just don’t instantly become a good outside shooter. Sometimes all of the practice in the world is not going to make that happen.