New Net Brown a 'Westbrook-type player'

June, 27, 2014
Markel Brown sees himself becoming a “Russell Westbrook-type player,” an explosive 6-3 combo guard who can get to the rim and finish.

“I’ve never worked out with [Russell], but I’ve had the opportunity to see him a couple times, and he’s someone who’s given me a lot of advice,” Brown, the first of three second-round picks acquired by the Brooklyn Nets on draft night, said Friday.

[+] EnlargeMarkel Brown
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsMarkel Brown improved over his four years at Oklahoma State.
“He’s someone who pretty much had the same role as me at college, he played with Darren Collison and Kevin Love [at UCLA] and he didn’t really stand out as much playing with those guys, but he’s someone who transitioned in the NBA and became a superstar.”

Brown was overshadowed by Marcus Smart at Oklahoma St, but was so happy for his backcourt mate when the Boston Celtics took Smart with the No. 6 overall selection. Thirty-eight picks later, Brown heard his own name called. He was ecstatic.

“It was crazy. I was sitting with my family when I got the call from my agent,” Brown said. He called it one of the best feelings of his life.

Brown, 22, is a four-year college player. Each season, his shooting percentages increased across the board. As a senior, he averaged 17.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, while connecting on 47.3 percent of his field goal attempts -- including 37.9 percent from 3-point range.

The Nets paid $1.1 million to purchase Brown’s draft rights from the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources said. Later, they paid $500,000 to acquire the draft rights to Xavier Thames (No. 59) and $300,000 to acquire the draft rights to Cory Jefferson (No. 60). In total, the Nets had $2 million to spend. They used $1.9 million of it.

Brown is best known for his jumping ability. At the combine, he tied for the highest vertical leap (43.5 inches). (Last season, he did this.)

Brown said the first time he dunked was in ninth grade. “It was probably the weakest dunk of my life, but I was so happy when it happened,” he said.

Brown feels fortunate to be going to a veteran-laden team like Brooklyn, where he hopes to learn from the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett.

Brown says he plays much bigger than his size.

“I’m way more athletic than other guys,” he said. “I have a 6-9 wingspan.”

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer



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Joe Johnson
15.5 3.7 0.9 35.5
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.1
AssistsD. Williams 6.3
StealsJ. Jack 1.2
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6