Scouting reports: Bobby Brown and Darius Songaila

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Published: September 10, 2009

With many thanks to our comrades in the TrueHoop Network, we’ve got the 411 on Bobby Brown and Darius Songaila, who the Hornets acquired today from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Antonio Daniels.

First the skinny on Brown, courtesy of Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom:

Outside of being the King of R&B, Bobby Brown is one of the more fun third string point guards you can have on your team. He doesn’t look like much but his production on the court is actually pretty astonishing. He’s lightning quick with the ball and fairly good at freeing up space to get off his jumper, which looks a little more like Shawn Marion than it does Steve Kerr. I wouldn’t exactly call him a defensive wizard by any means because he often gets torched while trying to stop the ball. But his resilient demeanor helps him forget about it and continue to play with confidence on the other end.

He’s a volume scorer when he’s out there but does so in a peculiar way. He does a great job of knocking down shots with the clock running down. In fact, that’s when he’s at his best. He doesn’t do a great job of distributing the ball but he also doesn’t really turn it over that much, either. He’s the sparkplug you want for a garbage time player- a three-point shooter with the swagger to keep the crowd interested.

The report on Songaila comes courtesy of Kyle Weidie of Truth About It:

Darius Songaila is the perfect role player, and perhaps a better teammate. He’ll play whatever position needed for whatever amount of time and will never complain. On offense, his range extends to just inside NBA three point range, as he’s always a distance threat who can spread the floor for guard penetration. He’ll also set solid screens for a pick-and-pop (his bread and butter in Eddie Jordan’s pro-style Princeton offense, which I imagine will be useful in Byron Scott’s sets).

Songaila’s biggest weaknesses are athleticism and rebounding, but it’s never from lack of effort. He has solid fundamentals (such as boxing his man out for ‘hockey assist’ boards), and rarely makes unforced mistakes. He’s not a bad passer either.

Ernie Grunfeld and many Wizards fans would have rather send DeShawn Stevenson to Minnesota than Songaila, but I guess that pilfering David Kahn of Mike Miller and Randy Foye was enough. D-Song aka ‘The White Knight’ will be missed in D.C., but many will be glad to see him escape from the cold confines of Minneapolis and playing a key role for a contender in NOLA.

Also, At The Hive posted some great thoughts on the trade earlier this evening. Well worth reading the full post. Here’s an excerpt:

I know people will praise [Daniels'] professionalism and all that, but he was a steady, average producer. He is almost certainly a better passer than Bobby Brown, and has been a better ball handler through his career than Brown was last season. Additionally, his 4.0 FTA/36 minutes was a valuable skill off the bench. Brown won’t come close to replicating that (1.7 FTA/36 last year). Daniels’ career offensive efficiency (114) is likely far higher than whatever Brown’s max will be (96 last year).

In approximately 245 defensive possessions with Sacramento, Brown ranked among the worst defenders, ceding about 5% more production than average to counterparts. Daniels, on the other hand, was quite impressive, holding opponents to about 8% less than their average production in approximately 265 defensive possessions with the Hornets. Brown improved tremendously with Minnesota, but a smaller sample size leaves me wary. Just observationally, Daniels 6’4″ frame was valuable in help situations. I’m not sure Brown can emulate that.

So, as much as foot speed and age come into play, I think Daniels –> Brown is a certain downgrade, defensively and especially offensively. There is obviously the chance that Brown steps up his game. But the straight swap isn’t necessarily so even.

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