Toronto Raptors guard-forward hybrid Bruce Brown has had quite the whirlwind 32 hours. In that span, he was traded away from the Indiana Pacers in the Pascal Siakam deal, flew across North America from Sacramento to Toronto, and played for his new team without knowing any of his teammates.
Brown recorded 15 points and seven rebounds in just 25 minutes during a close loss against the Chicago Bulls despite not having practiced with the team beforehand and not knowing any of the plays. On pure veteran grit and intuition, Brown was able to earn a spot in the closing lineup.
Although Brown has been plagued by trade rumors due to his status on a Raptors team the NBA perceives as tearing it all down, he did a terrific job of making sure the fanbase gets behind him in his first media availability as a Canadian player.
Brown wasted no time hitting all the right buttons that will make fans love him, as he referred to new No. 1 scoring option Scottie Barnes as a "superstar" and a "dog" in some very effusive praise. No matter if he ends up getting traded or staying, Brown recognizes the talent he is linking up with.
Brown also wore his traditional No. 11, taking the number back from recent two-way standout Jontay Porter. Brown revealed that he spent $10,000 on getting the number back from Porter, who switched to No. 34 before the game. Brown jokingly thought he would ask for more money before the switch happened.
Bruce Brown could become a fan favorite with the Toronto Raptors.
Brown could help contenders, but he can also help the Raptors in the next two seasons. There's something to be said for adding a battle-tested veteran who can adapt well to whatever role the coaching staff deems is necessary for him. Imagine what happens when he actually learns the plays.
Brown may not be the best shooter in the world, but he does so much well. Originally entering the NBA as a point guard, Brown has played every position except center on a part-time basis, and he's excelled at all those spots. Even in the Chicago game, his nose for rebounding and getting open was shown to be exceptional.
It remains to be seen how long Brown will be a Raptor. One thing that is certain, however, is that more games like what he put on display against Chicago will help fans fall more in love with him and insist that he stick around as a key bench player that helps Toronto's rebuild go smoothly.