Sometimes in the NBA all a young player like Markel Brown needs is a chance. Early in Brown's brief career, he found himself in a spot where no player wants to be, in his coaches doghouse.
In the 2015-16 season, Brown saw very little playing time and after such a promising rookie season where he started 29 games, Brown's sophomore season was spent mainly on the bench. From November 6th to December 1st (13 games) Brown played in a total of 11 minutes.
It was a difficult time for the 6'3" combo guard and he and many other people around the Nets wondered why Hollins didn't play him. Brown even talked to Hollins at one point asking why he wasn't receiving any playing time. Hollins had praised Brown in his rookie year. So it was doubly strange he had become benchwarmer.
As is often the case, the lack of playing time forced Brown to do too much when he got onto the court which didn't help him. After Hollins was fired, Brown started to receive more playing time and he started to flourish.
Over the Nets last 10 games of the season, Brown played in 24.5 minutes per game, while averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He started taking three point shots. Brown, 24 has potential to be a good NBA player, but what's his ceiling? Is he good enough to just be a solid role player or can he become a reliable starter?
The Nets have the option to make Brown a restricted free agent before June 30th. They must offer Brown $1,180,431. The decision would seem like a no-brainer. The Nets are protected by the Gilbert Arenas provision if they want to re-sign Brown and all signs point to Brown wanting to retrun next year.
Brown's old coach Lionel Hollins, compared him to Tony Allen at one point and Brown's biggest weakness, his offensive game, has improved throughout his first two seasons. Brown's three-point field goal percentage improved from 26.6 percent in his rookie season, to 31.4 percent last year. He was, however, inconsistent. In February, after Hollins was dumped, he shot a blistering 48.1 percent. In April, he dropped to 29.2.
Nets new coach Kenny Atkinson is known for his ability to help players develop so why not let him work his magic on Markel Brown? Brown has so many skills that can be tweaked and turn him into a very productive player in the NBA. Bottom line: Brown won't cost a lot of money to bring back and he's still young, looking to prove himself so bringing Brown back makes sense for the Nets. Brown is athletic, a good defender and his three-point shot has improved since his rookie season.
Brooklyn has close to two months left to decide whether or not they will make Markel Brown a restricted free agent. The increased cap makes that $1,180,431 a little more than one percent of the cap. Brooklyn will surely take its time to make up their minds, but the decision most likely won't be a difficult one.