Brandon Clarke: Hustle
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Clarke seems to have limitless energy, especially on the defensive end. This is helped by the fact that he can cover much ground with little effort due to his aforementioned efficient running form. He is always looking to dig holes and take souls as a help defender. Offensively, he is active albeit in a way to set himself up for buckets as opposed to creating opportunities for his teammates off-ball. Clarke is also not afraid to mix it up in the post for rebounds and to deny the ball from bigger players.
He can highpoint the ball well in traffic due to his anticipation and leaping ability, but he is not going to provide surplus value on the offensive glass over most bigs under the hoop. He does not have the strength to bully defenders for inside rebounds but has the instincts to be a helpful rebounding when crashing in from the perimeter. He will be able to track down long rebounds for extra possessions and will make defenders pay if they do not at least put a body on him.
Clarke does a good job staying disciplined on the glass and boxing out his man, but sometimes even good technique cannot make up for the size difference he faces against many college big men and will continue to face in the NBA. He has a weaker base than most bigs and will be exposed as a small-ball five on the glass.
Clarke is an effective, if somewhat one-dimensional transition threat. While he does have the capability to handle the ball going full speed in a straight line, he often usually just fills a lane and looks for a hit ahead pass. Outside of this, he does not add much value in transition given his current inability to space to three.
Clarke gets back in a hurry because of his solid speed and is good at making sense of transition chaos. Quicker than most to diagnose and diffuse transition action because of his comfort with going off-script as a defender.