In this latest instalment of draft profiles, I will be looking at Brandon Clarke.
College Team: Gonzaga (Junior)
Position: Power Forward/Centre
2018-19 Stats: Over 31 games in 28min per game he averages 17pts, 8.5reb, 3.1blk, 1.2stl, 1.7ast at 69% FG, 30% 3P and 68% FT.
Projected Draft Spot: Lottery 1st Rd – Late 1st Rd.
Clarke has many strengths on both ends of the court. On the offensive side, he is able to put the ball on the ground and attack the paint effectively in both transition and from shorter ranged sets. Most of his scoring is either at the rim or in the short mid-range area. If you watch clips from Gonzaga games, they seem to throw lots of lob to Clarke, especially in transition.
He is quite athletic, which allows him to try and shoot over longer opponents, to grab rebounds and block shots. He has good technique and timing on his blocked shots. Clarke’s interior defence often creates transition offense opportunities. He is also quite solid in his pick-n-roll defence and help defence skills that could translate to developing into being a positive perimeter defender. One article made the comparison that Robert Covington was predominantly an interior defender in college, but transitioned well to being a perimeter defender in the NBA – Clarke could possible go in this direction.
To see a glimpse of his potential, see these "Monster Game" highlights. He went for 20pts, 15reb and 5blks.
He needs to build up his offensive skills, in particular his deep shooting. For being 6’8" and athletic, his rebounding effort and numbers could still be developed further, some of this is due to his inability at times to box out opponents. His passing needs work, especially off the dribble when he is attacking the paint. His percentage from the charity stripe needs to get better, especially if he is going to be an attacking kind of player in the NBA.
NBA Player Comparison: Omeka Okafor, better Jordan Bell, Kenyon Martin, he could turn into a Paul Millsap type if he gets range.
Fit with the Spurs:
Again, the Spurs need defence, both out at the perimeter (although Murray and White will have that covered next season) and in the interior (to help back-up Aldridge and Poeltl) – Clarke will help the team in that aspect for sure, and possibly could fit alongside Aldridge in a role similar to Rudy or Cunningham, but may struggle to be in the same line-up with Poeltl. If he can develop a stretch capability, then his fit with the Spurs becomes much better. He may be a player the Spurs have a good look at, especially if other teams pass on him due to his lack of stretch capability.
Next Profile: Grant Williams