Following a breakout junior season at Kansas, Christian Braun made the All-Big 12 and helped lead the Jayhawks to a national championship. As a junior, Braun averaged 14 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 2 TOPG on shooting splits of 49.5/39/73. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Christian Braun
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’6 ½ / 8’3 ½
Hand size: 8 ½
Pre-Draft team: Kansas
Tools: Shooting, rebounding
- Excellent rebounder with great rebounding instincts
- High motor
- Good rebounder
- Good athlete
- Projectable shot
- Can attack closeouts to get to the rim
- Good stop n pop fadeaway against smaller players on drives
- Good in transition
- Projectable defender with good footspeed and recovery ability
- Premeditates his drives at times/questionable shot selection
- Low dip on jump shot; will need to speed up his jumper
- Defensive intensity and focus comes and goes
- Needs to improve usage and skill of left hand at the rim
- Must reduce turnovers
- Poor frame
- Footspeed may be negated by lack of length on defense
- Doesn’t take full speed pull-up jumpers; needs space and time to hit shots off the dribble
Christian Braun is a wing with defense, shooting, and slashing upside.
As a defender, Braun’s size and footspeed allow him to stay in front of drives and to recover well on spot-up drives. However, with a lack of length in his wingspan, his footspeed may be negated in terms of ability to contest shots against NBA talent. In fact, with some gambling that Braun takes, combined with the lack of length, he may struggle to guard some of the premier scorers in the league, which would negate some of his perceived value as a prospect.
In terms of scoring, Braun has a variety of ways of getting points: he can attack closeouts and make defenders pay for too hard of closeouts or for not being disciplined, he can spot-up shoot, and he can score in transition. In theory, Braun is a 3 level scorer, but he needs to refine his scoring habits. Braun can often pre-meditate his scoring moves, having his sights set on scoring a certain way and not being willing to compromise along the way. Adding a drive-and-kick threat and having more trust in his teammates against double teams will maximize his strong scoring package.
Braun will also need to develop his left hand, especially as a finisher. Unable to showcase a smooth straight line drive this season at Kansas, Braun can be trapped in the NBA as a slasher, being forced to go left to the rim. While he can find ways to maneuver to right-handed finishes, slashing will end up as a swing skill if his left hand woes were hidden at Kansas.
While Braun has good shooting touch and an overall projection towards the NBA is reliable, he must speed up his jumper, largely by reducing his low dip, to get shots off against NBA close-outs. While Braun was only blocked on 3 jump shots this season, it still showcased a legitimate concern of the speed of the shot: if a defender guesses right on jumping early as a closeout, Braun likely loses that matchup.
Additionally, Braun’s scoring off the dribble is limited. In the last two seasons, Braun has not attempted a traditional pull-up jumper at full speed. He has to shoot at his own pace and in space to get his shot off on the move or off the dribble, which will be a limiter in the NBA. Unless this is a hidden skill, which indicators do not suggest, his self-created scoring has limitations. This coupled with an often frustrating shot selection, Braun will have to make significant developments as a scorer to stick in an offensive role in the NBA.
Similar to: Grayson Allen, Rodney Hood, Dillon Brooks
Projected draft range: 21-45
Expected role: Off-ball offensive player with ability to hold his own on defense
Unplayable if: Jump shooting cannot translate against NBA defenses, and his defense gets minimized due to short arms.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting translates cleany from college to the NBA, and decision making as a scorer improves to reduce bad shots.