First, great Dunn had better defensive statistics than Brown at age 22 vs age 19. Can’t argue with numbers, though those numbers should absolutely be used as a reference point than conclusively.
Second, LaVine puts up solid offensive numbers and yes, he has improved. The fact remains the Wolves were just better without him. And he’s coming off a major injury as a player who really does rely on his athleticism. His stock is worse this year than last. And LaVine is “only” a year older, but in terms of college/pro experience, Zach’s got 2 years on Jaylen. Judging a player in NBA year 3 vs. NBA year 1 is unfair to the latter.
Third, it wasn’t like CHI wanted just Jaylen for Butler straight up. It was roughly Jaylen, veteran starter, AND BKN ’18 or LAL/SAC. And again, our opinions on Jaylen’s ceiling are very very different.
6.6–2.8–0.8 in 17.2 mpg; 13.8–5.9–1.7 per 36 — Jaylen Brown age 20
2.6–1.3–0.3 in 8.5 mpg; 10.9–5.6–1.4 per 36 — Jimmy Butler age 22
7.8–3.7–1.1 in 20.7 mpg; 13.5–6.4–1.8 per 36 — Paul George age 20
7.9–5.1–1.1 in 24.0 mpg; 11.9–7.7–1.6 per 36 — Kawhi Leonard age 20
Butler could not crack the rotation at age 22 and per 36 was worse. Paul George’s rookie campaign was comparable to Jaylen’s. Leonard’s was better but comparable. Point being, I’m not saying he’s going to be those guys, but let’s not be so conclusive on a year 1 campaign. He got extensive rotation minutes in the playoffs, impacted a tough playoff series, and started in place of Bradley for all his missed games hitting 37% of his 3’s, 49% from the field, and nearly 9 points per game in 20 mpg in a decent sample size. There is some credence to the hype, it’s not just delusion.
Fourth, so we are in agreement that drafting young talent and having them contribute is actually a good thing for a team. Signing overpaid veterans for a partial increase in output that does not equal the contract disparity is a waste of cap space. The Spurs drafted Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and Manu and grew them into the players there are today. As you saw Kawhi was not a killer from day 1, Tony was a below average starter his rookie season, and Ginobili was a 25 year old rookie who was also very very average in year 1. Same can be said about the GSW, especially Draymond. They were not clear stars but the team saw the talent that people outside of the organization don’t because they see them work every day and know them personally. Clearly DA has Jaylen as an untouchable because he believes he can be a star.