NBA Draft: Memphis Grizzlies Should Expect a Lot from Brandon Clarke in Year One

Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft prospect Brandon Clarke (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft prospect Brandon Clarke (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies NBA Draft Brandon Clarke
Memphis Grizzlies selected Brandon Clarke in Thursday’s NBA Draft (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /


Even though he averaged close to 17 points last season at Gonzaga, Brandon Clarke is somewhat limited on offense. He has made significant strides toward improving his jump shot since early in his college career. Given his work ethic, he should continue to develop his offensive game outside the paint as well as improving his inside scoring.

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In the halfcourt, he is most effective catching the ball as he is rolling to the basket or converting lobs into dunks, but he can also score with his back to the basket or facing up on the low block. He has enough of an array of post moves and good footwork that any time he is being guarded by a smaller or slower defender, he will have an advantage inside. Regardless of his matchup, Clarke is a great finisher around the rim, in traffic or even while drawing contact. He can score with both hands, can elevate over defenders to finish with authority or show a soft touch when needed.

His greatest strength on offense is simply that he knows and plays to his strengths. Clarke does not take bad shots or force the issue (68.7% shooting), is completely unselfish, and makes smart passes out of post when double-teamed or when there is a shooter open on the perimeter. He does not need plays run for him to impact the offense because he will generate opportunities for himself on the offensive glass and just by being in the right place at the right time.

Outside of scoring, he does all the little things that help on offense. He sets solid screens, moves off the ball, is comfortable handling the ball himself and pushing tempo off of defensive rebounds.