When the Los Angeles Lakers signed forward Troy Brown Jr. to a veteran’s minimum contract last summer, many fans could barely stifle a yawn.
He had shown a bit of promise as far as becoming a 3-and-D defender in his first four seasons in the NBA, but he hadn’t really amounted to much, if anything.
Brown appeared to be on the same trajectory during the first half of this season, but starting in February, he got red-hot from 3-point range, shooting 42.9 percent from downtown in his last 29 regular season games.
He dropped out of the rotation during the playoffs and shot just 2-of-15 from beyond the arc there, but he seems to be focused on expanding his game this offseason. In fact, he says he wants to get better at making plays for his teammates.
Via Lakers Nation:
“It was a really long year,” Brown admitted. “We basically had two different teams, so just me trying to figure out my role in different spots. Early on in the year, I was playing more of the four. Kind of more in that dunker area, so definitely added some of that to my game. But just being able to stretch the floor and be a defender.
“I think one thing I want to work on this summer is just being more aggressive offensively and being a playmaker. Even if it’s not me shooting the ball every time I’m touching it, just getting downhill and being able to make plays for my teammates. I definitely felt like it was a good year though and I felt like nobody thought we’d be in the Western Conference Finals so it’s definitely something just to look back on.”
Brown has never been looked at as a playmaker. In his five NBA seasons, he has averaged at least 2.0 assists a game just once — that was in the 2019-20 campaign when he was at 2.6 dimes a contest.
He will be a free agent this summer, and the Lakers could decide to move on from him. On the other hand, he could be back if the Lakers strike out on their higher priorities on the wing spot and he agrees to another minimum contract.