The Toronto Raptors recently hired Rico Hines, the mastermind behind a collection of offseason scrimmages that attract the best and brightest the NBA has to offer. While Raptors players ranging from stars like Pascal Siakam and rookies like Gabe Brown were in attendance, so was Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green.
Brown, who was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract and figures to be a big part of the Raptors 905 roster this season, has been making a name for himself at these runs. His shooting stands out, and Toronto is bullish on what he can be as a defender given enough seasoning.
Even with all that Brown has going for him, he is not above getting some sharp-tongued criticism from a fellow Michigan State Spartan in Green. Draymond was apparently not overly pleased with the showing that Brown put on display in front of so many noteworthy names.
Green singled Brown out in a speech about effort. Green claimed that he beat Brown in a series of sprints, saying that his chances of making the already jam-packed Raptors roster are slim if Siakam and Fred VanVleet are beating him in drills that require hustle.
Draymond Green called out Toronto Raptors rookie Gabe Brown.
While this might sound overly harsh coming from a rival player in an exhibition scrimmage, there’s a kernel of truth in that statement. Both Green and VanVleet weren’t first-round picks, meaning they are aware of the mountains that Brown has to surmount in order to make the team.
Defensive intensity could be the key that ends up turning Brown into a quality NBA player. While he had some nice moments in that area during his time with Oklahoma City’s Summer League team, Green knows that will not be enough to keep Brown in the NBA.
If Brown ends up hustling more often, there’s a ton to like about what he brings to the table. Another 6-8 player who can stroke it, Brown brings with him years of collegiate experience and some impressive performances against highly-ranked teams. It’s on him to get the most out of his skills.
Even though Green can be a bit polarizing, he’s been around the block enough to know the hallmarks of what makes a late-round pick or undrafted free agent desirable to championship teams. Brown needs to clean up any perceived lack of effort he showed in front of Green if he wants to make the squad.