According to the most recent D-League Prospect Watch list, Anthony Brown was the top-rated potential call-up based on his ability to contribute on behalf of an NBA team for this season and beyond. In 3 games for the Erie Hawks, the 24-year-old player averaged an eye-catching 29.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and you guessed it, 4.3 threes.
Now, Brown is about to become the newest member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans are closing in on the signing of former Lakers guard Anthony Brown out of the @nbadleague, according to league sources— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 20, 2016
To make room for the imminent roster move, the Pelicans released seldom-used Archie Goodwin earlier in the day.
New Orleans has waived guard Archie Goodwin, league sources tell The Vertical. Goodwin had 8-point game but played sparingly since signing.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 20, 2016
Similar to Goodwin, Anthony Brown isn’t probable to move the needle but was somewhat a surprising waiver nonetheless at the end of last month’s preseason. The Los Angeles Lakers made him the final cut despite having drafted him with the 34th pick in the 2015 NBA draft, opting to keep journeyman Thomas Robinson and veteran Ron Artest instead.
Brown’s results with the Lakers and their D-League affiliate last season largely dictated his dismissal. In almost 835 combined minutes, he really struggled with his shot, knocking down just 34.5% of his field goal attempts and 29.9% of his three-pointers. And with the additions of Brandon Ingram and Luol Deng, the Lakers had the luxury of moving on from an experimental project.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, are in position to take a flier as the trio of Solomon Hill, Quincy Pondexter and Dante Cunningham have failed to remotely solidify the small forward position. While QPon has yet to step onto the floor, the Hill and Cunningham duo have been far from inspiring. In practically 50 minutes per game, they have combined for 10.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and shooting averages that will make you lightheaded (33.8 FG%, 34.4 3FG%, 72.7 FT%).
Meanwhile, Jrue Holiday’s return has significantly reduced the need for Goodwin. Even Buddy Hield is having trouble finding playing time (13 minutes total in the last two games) and with Tyreke Evans nearing a return, Goodwin makes no sense for a roster with issues elsewhere.
As mentioned, Brown didn’t fare much better with his shot one year ago, but both his 2016 preseason performance with the Lakers and more recent display with the Erie Hawks could be a precursor that he has figured some things out. In his final two years at Stanford, Brown was known as a solid shooter, knocking down 132 of 296 attempts (44.6%) from behind the arc; however, he was regarded as passive and not consistent from game to game.
Wielding a respectable long-range jumpshot to go along with a newfound aggressiveness would make Brown a very enviable player to own as his size (6’-8.5’’ height and 6’-11.25’’ wingspan) and athleticism are more than respectable. His highlights from D-League games are enticing.
The New Orleans Pelicans could use some help at the three, both now and down the road. With Pondexter possibly closer to retirement than appearing in another NBA game again and the team not likely to have excess salary cap space this coming offseason, gambling on the top D-League prospect is the right move.
Welcome, Anthony Brown!