NBA draft

TrueHoop Network Mock Draft Pick 20: Wolves select Marshon Brooks

The 2011 ESPN TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft is here and I’m more than glad to represent the Wolves with the 20th pick. Each selection will be made available on network sites, will cover just the first round, and will be made according to prediction, not some blogger preference. Enjoy.

Previous Pick:
Check back hourly for picks until 5 pm today, pick 11 will start at 8 am on Tuesday.

#11 — Jimmer Fredette, Golden State Warriors — Warriors World
#12 — Chris Singleton, Utah Jazz —
Salt City Hoops
#13 — Tristan Thompson, Phoenix Suns —
Valley of the Suns
#14 — Jan Vesely, Houston Rockets —
Hardwood Paroxysm
#15 — Markieff Morris, Indiana Pacers —
8 Points, 9 Seconds
#16 — Nikola Vucevic, Philadelphia 76ers —
#17 — Klay Thompson, New York Knicks —
#18 — Jordan Hamilton, Washington Wizards —
Truth About It
#19 — Kenneth Faried, Charlotte Bobcats —
Queen City Hoops

With the 20th pick in the 2011 TrueHoop Network Mock Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select Marshon Brooks from Providence University.

With the Ricky Rubio press conference and the Wolves selecting Derrick Williams with the second pick in this mock draft already, getting Marshon Brooks at #20 couldn’t be a better draft scenario for Minnesota.

The immediate comparison that people have thrown out there regarding Brooks is Kobe Bryant. You’ll read a lot of places that he “has a little Kobe in him.” I think the comparisons come more from how his game looks than how his game is played. You can tell Kobe was an influence on Brooks when he was morphing his game into what it is now, because their jumpers, body control and moves look very similar.

But if you want a real NBA comparison for how he could translate to the NBA, I’d offer up Nick Young of the Washington Wizards. He’s not nearly the outside shooter that Young is (topped out at 35.1% from 3 in his college career), but he looks for his shot inside the 3-point arc in a similar way. Brooks is very skilled with the basketball and can penetrate the defense with veritable ease. He does a great job of using his quickness to get the angle on his defender, and then uses his strength and body control to absorb contact while putting up a quality shot.

Brooks has great athleticism and displays it whenever he can. He measured at a 38.5-inch vertical leap at the draft combine, and you’ll see it often when he attacks the basket. But the way times it really shines to me are when he’s attacking the offensive glass and playing help defense.

Marshon had an offensive rebounding percentage of 15.5% in his final year at Providence. He has spectacular timing and the ability to rise up over unsuspecting big men who aren’t boxing out. He also plays the angles in a very savvy way. He’ll adjust his path to the basket, as the shot gets closer to the rim, and slither into whatever opening he can find.

Defensively, Brooks is almost equally as effective. He plays passing lanes well and can defend one-on-one good enough, but where he really shines is coming over from the weak side to alter and block shots. As a senior, he averaged over one block per game. He’s so quick with his rotations on defense that he can get in position to challenge jumpers and pull-ups in the lane. He does get lost from time to time, as most young players do, but his instincts in helping off the ball really shine through the more you watch him.

Most importantly, Brooks is a guy who can break down the defense without being a complete ball-stopper. He put up big scoring numbers his last season because he just knows how to get into the teeth of the defense, absorb contact and never get rattled. He skyrocketed his free throw attempts in his final season from 2.7 to 6.8 per game.

The outside jumper is still a big question for him and he’s a bit undersized at the shooting guard position at just over 6’5”. But for the 20th pick in this draft, having Marshon Brooks fall to Minnesota would give them the potential to find a long-term starter at the shooting guard position in a draft full of role players.

The Portland Trailblazers are on the clock.

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