Since there have been a couple of board posts discussing the [unnecessary] dichotomy of choosing Jaylen Brown or Caris LeVert, I thought I'd look at the stats of past 5 star wings to see what you could reasonably expect from Brown.
I used ESPN recruit rankings. I first looked at the stats of 5* freshmen who were labeled as SGs or SFs (i.e. Russel was listed as a SG on ESPN) from the 2014 class. Next, I went from 2014 to 2007 and picked out SGs or SFs who were ranked as a top 5 recruit in that class (because Jaylen Brown is a top 5 recruit), because I think that you can reasonably expect more from the #2 ranked player than the #20 ranked player. I know top 5 is arbitrary, and maybe next time I'd look at all players given the same ranking that Brown received (96)...although I'm sure those grades are also relatively arbitrary.
|ESPN 2014 Rankings||School||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Minutes||Proj. Draft #|
|Isaiah Whitehead||Seton Hall||12||3.9||3.5||27.8||N/A|
|James Blackmon Jr.||Indiana||15.7||5.3||1.5||30||N/A|
|Top 5 Wings|
|Caris Levert (Jr yr)||Michigan||14.9||4.9||3.7||35.8|
Stats compared to LeVert:
|2014 5* Wings|
|More points + reb||2/14|
|> 30 minutes||4/14|
|Top 5 Wings|
|More points + reb||5/13|
|> 30 minutes||10/13|
|Stayed > 1 year||3/13|
Some interesting take-aways:
There is, unsurprisingly, a wide range of productivity from 5* freshmen. If you are taking any 5* player, the chances that they can produce at LeVert's level is very low.
That being said, when you look at 5* wings that were ranked in the top 5 of their recruiting class (none of the current freshmen SG's or SF's were top 5), the variability drastically decreases, and productivity goes way up.
I don't know if Brown has the same hype as a Wiggins or Parker, but based on past recruits' performances, it seems likely that he could step in and be extremely productive.
Something that I guess I never truly appreciated enough about LeVert is his assist numbers. While I took LeVert's abbreviated stats from this season, which heavily samples games against scrubs, it is still impressive to see how many assists he had a game compard to other great wings. Losing LeVert would not only mean loss of a lot of experience, but also the loss of a great floor general.
One (somewhat unsurprising) thing is that almost every single top 5-rated wing went pro after their freshmen year. It leads me to believe that we'd either get one good-great year out of Brown, or a year where he didn't perform at the same level as a LeVert and then came back and tried to improve his game. I think it definitely removes the advantage of saying "well you might get multiple years out of Brown," because the only way that happens is if he doesn't play that well. In other words, I'm saying that I'd go with past precedent over the (well-intentioned) words of a high school senior when it comes to staying for more than one year.
All of this may very well be moot, as we have no clue of either Brown's or LeVert's intentions. It also doesn't give any clear answer to the pointless game of "pick one." However, it does show that...getting Brown would be awesome!