Gonzaga Basketball: Breakdown of Brandon Clarke’s Summer League debut

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 20: Brandon Clarke poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 21st overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Drafted 21st overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, Gonzaga Basketball big man Brandon Clarke made his Summer League debut Sunday for the Memphis Grizzlies. Here’s a breakdown of all that went down.

If you’re a member of an NBA front office, with millions of dollars and several years of team control on the line on draft night, what do you do when a 6-foot-8 pogo stick of a basketball player with a neutral wingspan, thin frame, and odd assortment of wing and center skills is available when your team is on the clock?

Do you take him even though he doesn’t look like a typical center or power forward given that he’s the size of a small forward, yet doesn’t have the shooting chops or guard skills to play on the perimeter? Do you take someone else if you’re not confident in your organization’s ability to fit him into an NBA offense and defense? Is he really a positional quagmire at his size? Can he improve considering he’s already 22 years old and turns 23 in a few months? What should you do?

Just draft him. That’s what you do, and the Memphis Grizzlies, seeing that Brandon Clarke was somehow still on the board when the Oklahoma City Thunder were on the clock with the 21st selection, traded into that spot in order to grab a player whose value was somehow misdiagnosed and unrealized.

I’ve written in length on all that Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke brings to the table when it comes to impactful offense and defense. He was literally the second-best player this year, only behind Duke’s Zion Williamson who went first overall, and his statistical profile was historically dominant and ranks among the prestigious elite that have played college basketball over the past decade.

He’s legit, and Memphis realized that, and his long-awaited debut at the Las Vegas Summer League — which was delayed due to the draft night trade that didn’t officially go through until July 6th due to senseless moratorium rules — furthered the notion that Clarke is not someone to underestimate.

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