Gilbert Brown, an undrafted, athletic wing from Pittsburgh who Danny Ainge began recruiting even before the NBA lockout began, will attend the Boston Celtics’ training camp, Brown’s agent told A. Sherrod Blakely.
Despite Brown’s college career that was mildly underwhelming from a production standpoint (he never averaged more than 11.3 points per game while in college), Ainge is reportedly enamored with Brown’s potential as a defensive standout who can make stand-alone triples. Brown, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing, shot 41.3 percent from behind the arc during his senior season, making 43 trifectas.
Ainge is so smitten by Brown’s sleeper potential that he told Brown he could be the next Wesley Matthews, referring to the undrafted free agent who played his way into a $34 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“He (Ainge) told me I could be the Wesley Matthews of this draft,” Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “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.”
A league source told Blakely he thought the Wesley Matthews comparisons might be a stretch, but did see Brown as someone who could develop into the type of lockdown defender the Celtics could certainly use.
In speaking with a league source whose team had Brown in for a workout, he said, “I don’t know about the Wesley Matthews comparisons. I don’t think he (Brown) shoots the ball that well, and I don’t think he can score the way Wesley does. But the Celtics don’t need that. He gives them a guy who has the potential to be a really good defender, the kind of defender they haven’t had since Tony Allen, really.”
Brown spent the lockout playing in Germany for S. Oliver Wurzburg, but had an opt-out clause to use in the event the NBA lockout ended. It’s unlikely the team begged Brown to stay, since his role on the team — where he played behind former Purdue Boilermaker Chris Kramer and former UMass Minuteman Ricky Harris, among others — was relatively small.