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What Should Timberwolves Fans Expect From Troy Brown Jr.?

Harrison Faigen covered Brown Jr. with the Los Angeles Lakers and answers a few questions about the incoming NBA Free Agency addition.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves moved quickly in NBA Free Agency to reshape their perimeter attack off the bench. President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly and his front office made their first move by agreeing to terms with wing Troy Brown Jr. on a two-year deal reportedly worth up to $8 million. Brown Jr. will look to fill the void left behind by outgoing Wolf Taurean Prince, who — ironically — will fill TBJ’s role with the Lakers.

We asked a friend of Canis, Silver Screen and Roll veteran Harrison Faigen — who covered Brown Jr. extensively during his time with the Lakers — a few questions to help Timberwolves fans get acquainted with their newest wing.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

What should Wolves fans expect to see from Troy Brown Jr.? What are his strengths and weaknesses at this stage of his career? What do you think he can add to his game to become more effective?

Faigen: Steadiness. TBJ is not going to blow you away, but he is also a totally playable minimum signing, too. He shot 38.1% from three last year (on relatively low volume) but I wouldn’t call him a great shooter. He plays decent enough defense on guards, but he’s not really a stopper. This is not going to sound like a compliment, but I mean it as one: You will sometimes forget Troy Brown Jr. is in a game; even on a team that seemingly spent the first half of the season having a contest to see which guards or undersized wings could make the most fans turn off the TV and/or set themselves on fire, TBJ never won. Again, that may be damning him with faint praise, but I mean it as a compliment. I never really yelled “what are you DOING” at my screen because of him.

As for strengths and weaknesses, Brown’s biggest strength beyond what I mentioned above is just that he knows his role. He’s going to take the shots he’s supposed to take, mostly be where he’s supposed to be on defense, and he’s not going to go on isolation adventures (82% of his field goals last season were assisted, which honestly seems low). As for what he could add to his game, the only thing is potentially being a more willing spot-up shooter so defenses feel more urgency to rotate to him, or maybe adding a bit more muscle so he can’t get bullied by bigger small forwards.

But other than that, what you see is what you get. He’s a solid ninth or 10th man, and certainly the best 3-and-D wing you could ever really expect on a bi-annual exception deal.

Were you surprised he was not retained?

Faigen: Not really. The Lakers generally churn through their veteran’s minimum guys every summer, and this offseason was no exception (they have not retained a single player who was on the minimum for them last year, as of when I’m writing this, although it’s possible Tristan Thompson returns).

There was an argument to bring TBJ back given his age and ability to capably eat innings in the regular season, but given that the Lakers brought in your old friend Taurean Prince, retained Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt, and signed Cam Reddish as this year’s Klutch Sports Reclamation Project, TBJ was smart to head elsewhere since his minutes were probably set to get squeezed. He was appreciated for his service as literally the only playable wing on the team in the first half of the season, but he probably has a better opportunity ahead of him in Minnesota.

Is there anything else you think people should know about him, on or off the court?

Not a ton. Similar to how his game blends into the background of a team in the best way, Brown never really made waves off the court in Los Angeles. He seemed to be well-liked enough as a teammate and presence, and he gives off good vibes on that front; his whole Twitter feed is basically just him retweeting his teammates, posting about how good they played, and the occasional old takes exposed of himself.

The reason I went back to his Twitter, however, is to remind you, your writers and members of this community of his full name: Troy Brown, not, as enough announcers took to calling him last year that he felt he had to tweet a correction, Tony Brown. Tony Brown is who you blame when he makes a mistake, otherwise, just call him Troy.