Why Anthony Brown Can Help Fill Los Angeles Lakers Glaring Need at Small Forward

As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their so-far fruitless free-agent quest, they may already have an answer at the small forward position—Anthony Brown.

The Stanford graduate was selected by L.A. as their No. 34 pick on June 25. He has all the earmarks of a modern three-and-D guy—great length, defensive acumen and an efficient outside stroke.

Brown shot 44 percent from beyond the arc this season and 45 percent the year prior. His career mark over five seasons, including a true junior redshirt season in which he played just five games due to a hip injury, was 40 percent. 

The lanky swingman is part of a basketball movement that has picked up considerable steam in recent years, driven by analytics and an emphasis on spreading the floor offensively while defending that same principle on the other end of the court.

“Being able to spread the floor for Kobe (Bryant) and those guys is key,” Brown said, per Lakers.com. “The three-and-D is definitely an evolving position. I’m just trying to be the best player I can.”

It was an ambitious statement from a rookie who has yet to play a single game in the NBA. But Brown’s quiet assurance and maturity speaks volumes. During his introductory press conference with fellow draftees D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr., the 22-year-old was asked about the benefit of his full college experience:

“I definitely feel that I’m a lot more mature than a lot of the younger guys,” Brown answered, per Lakers.com. “I have the ability to pick up concepts really quick, and that will definitely benefit me.”

This is a guy who’s ready to contribute right away.

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