Welcome to Clippers In Review, where we’ll be recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Los Angeles. Now, we’ll be reviewing rookie Brandon Boston Jr. who was the 51st pick of the 2021 NBA draft.
Players picked beyond the first round often can be gambles, especially those who remain on the board as pick number 50 approaches. Boston, however, was a unique prospect who did not neatly fit into the “late second round” stereotype of NBA players who come and go. Physically, he’s a project, measuring 6’6” but weighing just 188 pounds. His shooting numbers in college did not exactly inspire many teams to seek him out early in the draft. Yet, he was projected to be a top prospect after playing at Sierra Canyon High School, then committing to the University of Kentucky powerhouse.
Much like his basketball career so far, this season for Boston was up-and-down. He impressed during the preseason, giving rise to the thought that he might carve out a role early in his career. In the months of January and February, he was able to see the floor for nearly 20 minutes a night, though that playing time tapered off as the Clippers’ wings got healthy and as the playoff race became tighter. But his real experience of things not going the way they were “supposed” to have gone might instill even more confidence in the Clippers’ fanbase and in Boston himself. After all, it’s not like he was a liability on the court. He dropped 27 points on nearly 70 percent shooting to record his season-high, and he scored in double digits 14 more times throughout the year. His shooting numbers were a bit rough, but the 82 percent clip from the free throw line demonstrates that his shooting fundamentals are there. And it’s not like the team expected Boston, the 51st pick, to perform right away. If anything, his contribution to the team this season can be viewed as a welcome surprise.
Boston’s rookie contract guarantees a spot on the team for at least the next two years, which gives lots of time for the Clippers to help round him out physically so he can build on the progress he’s made so far. If he can make that next step physically, taking that next step in terms of his game will be that much easier. Let’s not expect Boston to come out next season looking like an All-Star, but given time, he could end up surprising us all.