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This Dillon Brooks NBA Draft profile features one of college basketball’s best players from the past two seasons.
Dillon Brooks – 6’7″, Forward, University of Oregon, 21 Years Old
Dillon Brooks led the Oregon Ducks to one of their best seasons in school history in 2016-17, capturing Pac-12 Player of the Year and Second Team All-American honors in the process. The junior guard from Mississauga, Canada, was a matchup nightmare on the offensive end of the floor. He used a unique skill set and aggressive style of play to overpower opponents. Brooks’ unique style helped him be the second leading scorer in the conference behind only the consensus No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, Markelle Fultz. Oregon won the Pac-12 regular season title and went to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. The ultimate competitor, Brooks is a gym rat who improved drastically every season of his collegiate career. He is projected to be a high second-round pick but if his workouts went well, he could sneak into the first round.
Dillon Brooks’ best asset is his competitiveness, an underrated “skill.” He is relentless on the offensive end of the floor, often playing like a bull in a china shop. A well-built athlete who is explosive in space, Brooks has a quick first step and loves contact. He has good touch around the rim with either hand and uses his broad shoulders to finish through contact. Brooks has a quick first step and can blow by defenders even though he does not have the most advanced handle. A scorer at from all over the floor, Brooks has a very strong post game for a guard, as well as a terrific mid-range game; he gets excellent lift on his jumper and elevates over defenders.
Brooks improved his three-point shot every year in college, shooting at an elite 40.5 percent clip in his junior season on 4.1 attempts per game. He has shown that he can extend his shot past NBA range with ease, off of both the catch and the dribble. This makes him a very intriguing prospect to many NBA teams, as Brooks is capable of attacking closeouts and scoring off the bounce. Not only will he be a knock-down shooter in the NBA, but because of his strength and competitive nature, Brooks could become a decent defender despite not having tremendous length.
One of the best and most versatile offensive players in this draft, there are still a number of areas in which Brooks needs to improve. First and foremost is his playmaking ability. Brooks has shown flashes of being able to create for others after driving into the lane, as he averaged 2.7 assists per game last season. But he often forces a difficult layup or contested jumper instead of dropping it off to a big man under the basket or kicking it out to an open shooter. Going up against more sophisticated defenses and NBA length, Brooks might struggle to score as easily as he did in college. Because of this, it is imperative that Brooks improves as a facilitator if he wants to have the same success in the NBA.
Brooks was also not an elite defender in college and his ability at that end of the floor will be questioned by general managers. With a below average 6’6″ wingspan, Brooks might struggle to contain quick players on the perimeter. He is also prone to falling asleep when defending off the ball, allowing back-cuts too often. Brooks will need to improve his focus on the defensive end of the floor. Refining his IQ on that end will be extremely important because of his physical limitations.
Brooks could be one of the biggest sleepers in the draft because of his versatility. He’ll be able to play both wing positions at the next level because of his physical style of play. He is a projected second-round pick who could have an immediate impact for a team because of his shooting. His steady improvement over his NCAA career also indicates that he could be more than just a shooter coming off the bench. He will need to improve his ball handling, but Brooks has every possibility to become a talented scorer off the bench as a sixth man.
NBA Player Comparison
A good comparison for Brooks is perhaps Norman Powell of the Toronto Raptors. He does not have the same athleticism or length as Powell but he is taller and stronger than the former UCLA Bruin. Brooks is also a slightly better shooter than Powell. Both are gym rats who improve every year, and like Powell, Brooks is an upperclassman who will most likely be drafted in the second round but could be an impact player as a reserve. Both are capable of creating their own shots and scoring against NBA defenses, so they could have similar career paths.