When the Los Angeles Lakers signed Troy Brown Jr. to a one-year contract last summer, the move wasn’t thought of too highly. Brown has all the tools a team looks for in a 3-and-D wing, but the former first-round pick in 2018 hadn’t quite put it all together.
But throughout a Lakers season full of roster changes and players going in-and-out due to injury, Brown would actually turn into one of the team’s more reliable and consistent role players. In fact, no player appeared in more games for the Lakers this season than Brown’s 76 with 45 of those being starts.
Brown was often the primary defender on the opposition’s best player, especially before the team acquired Jarred Vanderbilt at the trade deadline. Brown defended all different types of perimeter players and did an admirable job, while also being one of the Lakers’ best shooters.
Brown shot 38.1% from 3-point range with only Austin Reaves shooting a better percentage among Lakers who were on the team all season long. His 107 made 3-pointers on the season trailed only LeBron James on the team.
Injuries and trades led to constant lineup and rotation shuffling, but whether he was starting or coming off the bench, Brown was a player Ham could turn to with solid results more often than not. Unfortunately his solid season didn’t translate over to the playoffs as Brown’s shooting fell off a cliff in the postseason.
It would eventually get to the point where Ham removed Brown from the rotation completely and unfortunately that is what most will remember for Brown. But the wing played a big role in pushing the Lakers into the playoffs and filling whatever role was needed.
While there isn’t one specific game that stands out above all the rest there were certainly some stretches of games in which Brown was crucial to the Lakers’ success, perhaps none more so than in March right after James went down due to injury.
Over a five-game stretch in which the Lakers won four of those games, Brown shot 53.8% from both the field and 3-point range. This included a 19-point, 4-rebound, 2-block performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he knocked down four 3-pointers, and another four 3-pointer night in a win over the Golden State Warriors when he finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Not much has been said in terms of the future of Brown this offseason, but he is an unrestricted free agent. There were ups and downs and his playoff performance left a lot to be desired, but there will always be a market for wings who can defend and shoot.
What teams could potentially be interested in Brown are unknown, but if the Lakers could bring him back on something close to a minimum contract it could be worth it. There are certainly far worse options and Brown showed he does have a role in this league.
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