So…what does the Devin Brown acquisition mean for the Chicago Bulls? Who is he, and what skills does he bring to the table? Can he break into the rotation or will he simply take over Aaron Gray’s role of passing out Gatorade in the team huddles?
For starters, here’s a scouting report on Brown from ESPN’s John Hollinger: “Few players were more unrelentingly ordinary than Brown before last season, as he ranked at or near the league average in virtually every statistical category. But at 30 he’s lost some athleticism and began doing what most average players do at this age: quietly falling out of the league. He’s a below-average outside shooter and doesn’t have extraordinary quickness or elevation at the rim. He offsets that with a wide frame that allows him to draw fouls, and he rebounds well for his size. Brown is a good enough ballhandler to play point guard in a pinch but only at the offensive end. He lacks the quickness to keep many shooting guards in front of him, let alone point guards. His strength makes him tough to post up, but he lacks the length to challenge shots.”
Well, that doesn’t sound very promising, does it?
“Devin Brown was putting up some nice numbers earlier this season, frequently scoring in double figures and shooting better than 45 percent from three in December. But that was exceptional for him. He’s never been known as a legit three-point threat and has only once averaged double figures for a season. He’s prone to slumps and streaks, and he just turned 31 years old last month so don’t expect him to get any better.
“All that said, he can do a few things well. Aside from Chris Paul, Brown was one of the few players in New Orleans who was willing to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. He’d just put his head down and barge towards the goal. Granted, he’d often pick up a charge doing that, but his aggressive play was a nice contrast to perimeter-inclined guys like Peja Stojakovic and Morris Peterson. Devin can also be an asset defensively, able to body up to big wings and give them some trouble, though he’s likely to get beat by a quick first step. All in all, Devin Brown’s not a terrible player — at least not this season — but he has no business starting in the NBA.”
Alrighty, then. It’s probably safe to say Brown is not the final piece of Chicago’s championship puzzle.
It seems unlikely that Brown will see very many minutes right away. Maybe he and Jannero Pargo can keep each other company on the bench? However, in the big picture, it does seem likely that the Bulls traded for Brown in case they get the chance to dump the contract of Kirk Hinrich or John Salmons. In fact, it took almost no time at all for a Hinrich to the Lakers rumor to heat up (after which it immediately cooled down).
Given that the Bulls have clearly pinned much of their future plans on the already-fabled Summer of 2010, it’s probable that they will do everything they can to clear a little more cap space before the trade deadline. Of course, any deal involving Hinrich or Salmons could be bad in the short term, since both of them have been playing well since Vinny Del Negro pulled the switcheroo that sent Salmons to the bench so Captain Kirk could start. And their improved play — along with Derrick Rose’s recent ascent to superstardom — has made the Bulls a much better team.
Would giving one (or both) of them up be worth a shot at making the Bulls a much, much better team next season?