The NBA Draft took place Thursday night, but the Boston Celtics might not be done adding rookies. They considered taking Pittsburgh’s Gilbert Brown with their second-round pick and reportedly have interest in signing the undrafted 6’6 wing to a free agent deal. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via ESPN)
Gilbert Brown was on the phone several times throughout the day Thursday with the Boston Celtics and was optimistic about his chances of getting drafted in the second round. When Thursday turned into Friday and the 51/2-hour draft had come to an end, Brown didn’t have much time to dwell on the disappointment of not hearing his name called.
Shortly after the draft ended, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge called Brown and expressed his interest in signing him to a free-agent deal. Brown said Ainge told him the Celtics had to make a decision between Brown and Purdue guard E’Twaun Moore with their second-round selection, the 55th overall in the draft. They chose Moore, but he wanted Brown to know that he was still interested.
“I’m definitely encouraged that the Celtics were interested,” Brown said Friday afternoon. “I was talking to them all day. They said it was the flip of a coin when it came time to make the pick. …
Boston is not the only team interested in bringing Brown to training camp. Phoenix and a few others have reached out, but Brown is leaning toward the Celtics because of the 30-minute conversation he had with Ainge early Friday morning.
“He really encouraged me,” Brown said. “He told me I could be the Wesley Matthews of this draft. Of all the teams I worked out for, Danny was the most excited to have me in. He really feels like I can make their team and contribute the first year. He was really confident in my ability. He felt like I stood out in my workout.”
If the NBA enters a lockout, of course, the Celtics will be unable to sign free agents. According to the report, Brown will sign with a team in Germany if a lockout occurs. His agent would not reveal the team’s name because he is negotiating an opt-out clause that would allow Brown to leave for the NBA whenever the potential lockout ends.
If you haven’t seen Brown play, watch this. Or this. Or best yet, this. He’s a long and athletic player who, like JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, played for a winning college program that stresses defense. Unlike Johnson and Moore, Brown’s offensive game has little polish. During college, he almost solely scored on dunks/layups and spot-up shots from the perimeter.
Draft Express wrote, “Though he will be 24-years-old by the start of the NBA season and there are question marks regarding whether he can consistently make NBA three-pointers with his awkward mechanics, Brown remains an intriguing prospect whose niche as a pro is already well-established. His intangibles and defensive abilities will certainly translate to the next level and, if he can continue to distinguish himself as a reliable spot-up shooter during the NCAA Tournament and Pre-Draft process, then there is a good possibility that he will find himself on a NBA team.”