Jalen Brunson is a junior point guard from Villanova with one of the strongest college resumes the NBA draft has seen in years. Brunson won two titles in three years at Villanova and had incredible stats to go along with the championships. Brunson’s junior year stats were as follows:
In 32 minutes per game, Brunson averaged 19 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.1 RPG, and just 1.8 TOPG on shooting splits of 52/41/80. He also shot 60% on 2 pointers and shot 71% from the rim, as well as 37% from NBA three pointers on over 150 attempts.
Tools: IQ, Scoring
- High basketball IQ. Rarely makes consecutive bad decisions
- Can score on all three levels. Can score both from a standstill and off the dribble
- Elite college stats- efficiency is unmatched for his position
- Smart shot selection. He’s patient with the offense
- Easily coachable- floor general
- Average frame- not very long arms
- Doesn’t project to be a great defender. Low defensive upside
- Lacks great athleticism. Not explosive
Overall: Jalen Brunson has an elite floor due to the fact that he has no glaring flaw beyond his frame and athleticism. He had unreal and unmatched college statistics that displayed his ultra-high basketball IQ, which is his calling card in the NBA. On top of his high IQ, Brunson is a great shooter and prolific scorer that can score from virtually anywhere on the court. The only concern for Brunson in terms of scoring in the NBA is how he will finish at the rim vs NBA length. Brunson profiles as a day-one primary backup point guard.
Fit with Mavericks:
Brunson is a heady player that can really do it all offensively and is easily coachable. This makes the perfect point guard for Carlisle. As I mentioned with Shake Milton, Brunson could also create a dynamic duo at point guard in the same way both Toronto and Golden State have done. Regardless of depth at point guard, Brunson would be a great fit with the Mavericks. He would contribute to maintaining the winning strategies Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks have held over the years, including elite turnover rate, 3 point shooting, and P&R ability.
Point guard is automatically going to be the worst short-term fit for the Mavericks in this draft due to Dennis Smith Jr being a likely cornerstone of the franchise. However, Rick Carlisle thrives with a multiple point guard rotation, so there’s a handful of point guards that may be solid fits with the Mavericks. If the Mavericks can only take one of the point guards not named Collin Sexton, Trae Young, or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Brunson would probably be the best candidate for the Mavericks.
NBA Comparison: Fred Van Vleet/ John Paxson
Projected draft range: 17-28