The 2011 draft class wasn't the strongest in recent memory, but it did contain some nice steals in the first round including MarShon Brooks. While the Boston Celtics traded the rights to Brooks to the former New Jersey Nets, that could prove to be a huge mistake as he is a player likely to explode next season.
Brooks is a dangerous scorer from inside the arc and will greatly benefit from working on his shooting range. Based on his natural athletic ability, look for Brooks to improve in other areas of his game to become a more well-rounded player.
With the addition of Joe Johnson to the rotation and Gerald Wallace staying with the franchise, the second-year player will likely come off the bench in a key role. We should see Brooks continue to find his spot as a possible sixth man while putting up points in bunches.
While Brooks does possess the athleticism to run the floor at an elite level, he remains an average defender at best. He has long arms which helps him defend the perimeter, but doesn't have the body frame or strength to guard some of the more offensively inclined players in the NBA.
His defense lacks, yes, but he can make up for that by being a smart player and meshing well with Deron Williams.
Brooks was a stud in his senior year at Providence, averaging 24.6 points and seven rebounds a game, but he was on a team that liked to push the pace for quick buckets. He will have to learn to play a solid half-court game to compliment his ability on the run.
With Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries also coming back to Brooklyn, this Nets team is looking to make some noise by getting back into the playoffs. They were a horrid offensive team, but a healthy Lopez, a scoring based Joe Johnson and an evolving Brooks should do wonders in means of productions.
Brooks should be considered a centerpiece in Brooklyn and a potential All-Star down the road. He has the capability of being a starter for many teams, but should follow the path of many great shooting guards and benefit from leading a second unit.
Players like Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry and most recently James Harden have striking similarities to Brooks. They are capable scorers who have been a part of championship-caliber teams over their careers. Not only does it show that depth is a major key to being an NBA contender, but having that scoring spark off the bench can do wonders for a team's success.
The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of hype and expectation coming into next season. If Brooks contributes, he could be the player to lead them to the next level. He averaged a nice 12.6 points a game in his rookie season, but that will likely boost up as his shooting percentages and talents continue to grow.