Brandon Clarke: On-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.


 
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Ball-handling

Clarke is mostly a straight-line dribbler with the ball. He has limited shake and no advanced dribble moves beyond spinning. His ball-handling does not add value to his creation ability, rather it is just good enough to unlock his finishing ability and fluidity. Clarke’s rudimentary handle allows him to push the ball in transition and execute one- or two-dribble finishing moves in tight spaces.


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Passing

Clarke has a solid feel for sensing help one pass away and making the easy read. He leverages teammate Rui Hachimura’s inside scoring well and often finds his frontcourt partner for dump-off passes or hits him on cuts to the middle. The ball leaves Clarke’s hands fairly early in many of these situations. That being said, Clarke will rarely whip the ball to the weak-side shooter. His passing repertoire is usually limited to basic reads.


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Shooting off the dribble

Shooting off the dribble is currently a small part of Clarke’s game and probably will continue to be even if he does improve his volume from behind the arc. That being said, Clarke has shot a solid percentage off of unassisted mid-range shots. Some of these come out of post-ups or faceup situations, and so are not typical off-the-dribble looks, but his positive sample indicates the roots of what could evolve into solid shooting touch from further out.


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Finishing off the dribble

Clarke is an excellent finisher off the dribble despite not having the strong frame to power through bigger opponents at the rim consistently. Instead, he relies on his excellent leaping ability, solid body control, and touch around the rim to finish tough baskets from improbable angles. It also helps him that he has the requisite handle to fluidly transition from dribbling to finishing, even in tight spaces.


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Finishing in the post

While Clarke does have a few fluid-looking post moves and excellent finishing stats around the paint, this will not be an area of emphasis for Clarke in the NBA because he does not have the frame to consistently move NBA bigs. Instead he will be more effective against bigs in the high post, screening for the ball handler, or being planted in the dunker spot to catch and finish. That being said, Clarke will be able to create decent looks in the post against smaller defenders in a pinch.