What can Moses Brown become for the OKC Thunder?

The Oklahoma City Blue announced that Oklahoma City Thunder two-way center Moses Brown has been littered with NBA G-League honors. Brown has tabbed as a first-team all G-League member and earned All-Defensive honors inside the G-League Bubble.

Moses Brown continues to add to his lore with his dominant stretch in the NBA G-League Bubble that has quickly been on the rise since returning from the bubble.

Moses Brown is a second-year player on his second two-way deal with as many organizations. After failing to catch on in Portland, Brown has made a legitimate impact with Oklahoma City. Since returning from the G-League, Brown has produced 11-points, 11-rebounds, a steal, two blocks, and 27 minutes played per game. That is a huge production for any two-way product.

Veteran big man Al Horford was very vocal that Brown makes a true impact in games, not just with his counting stats but with his ability to change a game. Horford, who is incredibly well respected, even praised Moses Brown’s ability to learn, stay composed and be a sponge for information.

Al Horford also pointed out that during each timeout Moses Brown has “four or five” guys telling him different things to help him learn and grow. That is credited to the general Thunder culture, but I think it is telling the investment being made in a two-way player from top to bottom. Between the players going out of their way to help him, and Mark Daigneault playing him nearly 30-minutes a night, it is clear the Thunder think there is a chance they have found a diamond in the rough.

The Thunder have often invested in two-way players, and have identified some overlooked talent. P.J. Dozier, who famously took Kevin Durant’s number 35 jersey, is now having success in Denver after being on a two-way deal with OKC. The Thunder also converted Deonte Burton, a summer league star, to a full NBA contract after first inking him to a two-way deal. Of course, Lu Dort remains the most famous case, the two-way fast-rising star who locked down James Harden last postseason to now become an NBA Defensive star before he even hits the 82-game mark in his career is now on a full-time deal.

Converting Moses Brown to a full NBA contract would make a run of three straight years of two-way conversions, a mark I am not sure many if any teams have accomplished.

While this recent run has been fun, and it does not appear to be slowing down at all after his first-half double-double against the Memphis Grizzlies a night ago, but nothing is certain. People were just as high on Deonte Burton, who I called a gimmicky player from the start, and now he is out of the league. Not everyone can be a mainstay type of players like P.J. Dozier and Lu Dort.

Can Moses Brown? That is to be determined. I do think that shortly after seasons end, given the new two-way rules to allow players to play unlimited NBA games on that two-way deal this year there is no need to rush it, he will be converted to a full NBA contract. Past that, what comes next?

No, I do not think Moses Brown is the starting center of the future, two of your top five guys will not be via the undrafted two-way route. The odds do not favor that happening, and I think that is perfectly fine. Look, not everyone can be that starting level player, that does not mean they are not good or lack value.

When evaluating these long-shot type players, as Moses Brown is, it is important to set a floor more than a ceiling. If/when Sam Presti elects to sign Brown, what is the baseline? If all else fails you know this investment will at least return what?

With Moses Brown, I think his floor is Boban Marjanovic. The five-year veteran that stands 7’4 has been a quality change of pace contributor to a few different teams. While not a mainstay, or a key piece, still provides some value in certain mismatches.

If Boban is the floor, a big man that has appeared in 250 NBA games, that is a heckuva find for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anything above that return, and there is a good chance I think the Thunder will develop him into more than just Boban, would be gravy.

The big concern with Moses Brown comes with not only the way the league is trending with his lack of shooting, though it certainly feels like the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dump-offs down low to Brown will play in any era, his defense is also in question.

The block numbers are incredible, and he has a lot of Jarrett Allen in him, he is not scared to be posterized he will continue to go for the bucket-saving blocks. However, while he is more mobile than most bigs his size, he still needs to work on learning to defend the pick and roll, and he presents an obvious mismatch for guards who can get him to switch onto them. Brown admits as such, that learning coverages are a big focus of his.

No matter what happens, this has already been a great season for Moses Brown, who was not even the swooned-over two-way player. Entering this year, the talk from everyone was on Josh Hall and Moses Brown was just the forgotten piece. Even as he tore up the G-League many overlooked it due to his size. Now, there is a legitimate buzz about his long-term Thunder future.

Where do you project Moses Brown to be? If you asked five different OKC Thunder fans, you would get five different answers.

Rylan Stiles

Rylan Stiles is the host of the Locked on Thunder podcast, a media member with the Thunder and the NBA, and Founder of BricktownBuckets.com.

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