Brandon Boston Jr.
(Darron Cummings/AP Photo)

Brandon Boston Jr. 2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report

Brandon Boston Jr. enters the 2021 NBA Draft after a pedestrian freshman season at Kentucky. He was the No. 7 overall recruit in the 2020 ESPN 100, expected by many to become a lottery pick. Unfortunately, some inconsistent shooting plagued Boston for the vast majority of his freshman campaign and his draft stock slipped dramatically. Some mocks even have him projected as a second-round pick. Brandon Boston Jr. has all the tools to be successful, but he needs to put it all together to carve out a role in the NBA.

  • Height/Weight: 6’7″/185 pounds
  • Primary Position: Shooting Guard
  • Most Recent Stats: 25 Games, 11.5 PPG, 1.6 APG, 4.5 RPG, 35.5% FG, 30.0% 3PT, 78.5% FT, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.4 TOPG

Strengths: Length, Creating Own Shot, Defensive Anticipation

Brandon Boston Jr. has great length, which is an asset on both ends of the floor. He has the body control to get inside to the rim and get tough finishes. He also possesses a handle that complements his length and allows him to beat defenders off the dribble. Along those lines, Boston has become fairly adept at creating his own shot. He did a lot of this in high school, and it carried over to Kentucky where he didn’t have a true point guard to play with. An NBA team won’t ask him to create his own shot, at least not right away, but it’s a valuable skill to have in his bag nonetheless.

Here, Brandon Boston shows off an ability to create space and get open looks.

Boston’s length also helps on the defensive end when combined with his good instincts. He’s not necessarily a lockdown defender, but he understands how to limit open shots and jump passing lanes. In his freshman year at Kentucky, he averaged 1.3 steals per game. He had five games with three or more steals. As he adds bulk, he has the potential to become a respectable two-way player.

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Weaknesses: Thin Frame, Offensive Inconsistency, Shot IQ

One of the first things you’ll notice when watching Brandon Boston’s film is his slender frame. This naturally has implications for his ability to play physical defense, get rebounds, and finish at the rim. He will likely bulk up a little once an NBA trainer gets hold of him, but it’s still something to consider given that it presented issues at the college level.

His freshman year, Boston also struggled with finding a consistent shot. He was hailed as a great shooter coming into Kentucky, so what happened? The most likely explanation is that after a few rough shooting games to start the season, Boston lost confidence and never found his way out of that mental rut. He had a few nice shooting performances towards the end of the season, but his overall percentages reflect the struggles he had early on. Fixing a mentality is easier said than done, but I will say Brandon Boston has a smooth shooting stroke that should translate assuming he gets his head right. Again, he has all the tools to find success, he just needs to figure out how to use them.

Brandon Boston Jr. has nice shooting form. When he’s not in his head, he’s capable of being a great shooter.

Finally, Boston’s shot IQ while at Kentucky was nothing short of a disaster. Part of why his percentages were so bad is the difficult shots he chose to take. Most of this is absolutely his fault. However, he didn’t have the opportunity to play alongside a true facilitator who could help get him open shots. Thus, the burden of finding open shots fell to Boston, and he didn’t do a great job with that responsibility. Getting him on a team with a true NBA point guard should help him some, but this is an area of his game that needs to be ironed out.

Best NBA Fit: Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns

There are two scenarios that I see helping Brandon Boston’s pro development. The first of these would be to go to a team starting from scratch like the Houston Rockets. This would allow Boston to work out his offensive struggles with a high volume of minutes on a bad team while having absolutely zero pressure. The second scenario would be to go to a team with elite offensive creators like the Nuggets or Suns where he would not have to create his own offense. Playing with a facilitator like Chris Paul or do-it-all center like Nikola Jokic would certainly aid his development and take a lot of pressure off of him. This second scenario would likely be better for Brandon Boston because an issue he faced at Kentucky was having to create his own shot rather than having teammates facilitate for him.

NBA Comparison: Poor Man’s Brandon Ingram

Brandon Boston doesn’t exhibit the raw potential that saw Brandon Ingram get drafted 2nd overall back in 2016, but he does have some of the same offensive tendencies and a similar frame. He’s a ball-dominant scoring wing, which is very much Ingram’s archetype. Boston will likely need to follow a similar developmental trajectory to overcome the concerns about his slender frame, which are also concerns scouts had about Ingram entering the draft.

Draft Projection: Late First-Round Pick

Entering last season, Brandon Boston Jr. was considered a definite lottery pick. After a disappointing freshman season at Kentucky, his stock has slipped. Look for him to hear his name called towards the end of the first round in the 2021 NBA Draft. My first 2021 NBA Mock Draft had him going 29th overall to the Phoenix Suns. If teams are really impressed by his pre-draft workouts and intrigued by his upside as a scorer, he might climb a little closer to the mid-first round. At this point, I would say it there’s no chance that Brandon Boston is a lottery pick.

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