Brandon Clarke: Off-Ball Offense
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.
Movement & positioning
Clarke is good at cutting and doing his work early to carve out space for himself in the post, but much of his movement is predicated on looking for opportunities to score. When he is not directly involved in the action, his cutting to the ball and lack of floor spacing will likely clog up NBA lanes. He could just be playing this way because he has deemed it most advantageous to forgo spacing for easy looks in college, though. Hopefully he can adjust to find ways to stay out of actions in the NBA even without a jump shot given his overall basketball IQ.
Clarke is not the most wide-bodied screener and is not going to cause point-of-attack defenders to die on the screen, but he can make good contact and knows how to properly angle himself. That being said, he also often slips screens at Gonzaga. It is unclear what his directive is as his frontcourt partner Rui Hachimura is also a serial screen-slipper. Whatever he lacks when it comes to actually screening the defender or providing a wide body, he makes up for with his roll gravity. If Clarke is not tagged, he is a dangerous lob threat and can punish teams when given space to catch and finish or pass. He is also skilled at timing his rolls at the most opportune time to either create a passing opportunity for his teammate or warp the defense.
Shooting off the catch
Clarke has a few solid indicators of good shooting form. Cole Zwicker’s article in the external links section lays out how Clarke’s shooting touch could translate to a consistent three-point stroke. For now, much of Clarke’s potential three-point shooting off the catch is theoretical. However, in the few samples he did provide his form looked solid, albeit slightly stiff in the base of his jump shot. He can reliably hit jumpers in the 8-15 foot range which provides much needed spacing in the Gonzaga offense and will allow him just enough to operate with another interior big, but no more than absolutely essential.
Shooting off movement
This is currently a very small part of Clarke’s game and does not figure to be a major part of his game in the future either. If he develops range on his jump shot, he will likely be used mostly as a spot-up threat. While certainly possible given Clarke’s decent mechanics and shooting touch, this will likely not be an emphasized point of development for him.
Finishing off movement
Clarke can get up quickly for lob finishes or finishes from the ground off the catch. He is a serious threat to score whenever he is rolling to the rim because of his leaping ability and knack for finishing in tight spaces. He is also deadly when deployed as a rim-runner in transition. He is able to catch the ball overhead like a downfield receiver and quickly re-adjust his balance to explode towards the rim. He is skilled at cutting to the ideal spot inside for his teammate to hit him with a dump-off pass. From here, he can quickly attack the rim and convert through an array of finishes.