Jaylen Brown becomes Cal's highest NBA Draft pick since mentor Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Former Cal forward Jaylen Brown speaks with the media following his selection as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.

Appropriately enough, when he was taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Boston CelticsCalifornia forward Jaylen Brown became the highest Golden Bear taken in the NBA Draft since his mentor -- and fellow Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler grad -- Shareef Abdur-Rahim was taken third overall in the 1996 edition. Brown is the 10th Cal player to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.

While Brown didn't have to wait long to hear his name, he did take quite a bit of time to pick out his draft-day tuxedo, a deep red coat with black lapels and a black bowtie.

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1681127-jaylen-brown-draft... "This is the one that kind of popped out," Brown said. "I know a lot of young guys tend to go with flashy colors or fluorescent patterns or floral patterns. I just wanted to keep it simple, classic, timeless, but definitely, definitely classy. That's what I wanted to do. That matches my personality, so I expressed my personality through my suit.

"I had thousands of suits to choose from. Thousands. And I'm super meticulous and picky. So I had to make sure. I had to do my due diligence on suits, so it took me a while."

Brown was just as meticulous when it came to deciding to leave Berkeley.

"Anytime you make a decision you want to make sure you take your time and make sure you evaluate from top to bottom, make sure you're making the right one," said Brown, who took a graduate-level course in his first semester at Cal, and finished out the year of school, instead of withdrawing. "It took a while to make a decision because education is important to me, but this was the right thing for me to do, and Boston has a great history of education and some great universities like Harvard, MIT. I've done my research, so we'll see [about continuing his education at Harvard and MIT]."

Along with No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Jared Goff, Cal now is the only school with two top-three draft picks this year. Add in the No. 37 overall pick by the Oakland Athletics of Daulton Jefferies, and it's been a pretty good draft season for the Golden Bears.

"I know Boston has a lot of history, a lot of tradition, and I want to add to that," Brown said. "I know it's a playoff team, so I love playoff basketball, and I can't wait to win. Boston is a great city full of culture, full of life, education, things that mean a lot to me. I'm super excited. I cannot wait to get there and can't wait to get everything started, can't wait for the season to start, and I'm happy to be a part of the family.

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1666797-jaylen-brown-movin... The Celtics worked Brown out twice in recent months, increasing chatter that they'd use their first of eight picks on him. 

"I had no idea. I promise you, I had no idea," Brown said, when asked when he knew he would be taken No. 3 by the Celtics. "I was actually sweating bullets when the final five seconds came in. But I knew they were heavily interested when they asked me to come back for a second workout, but you hear different things every day. I mean, it changes every day, so I was not sure at all. But I'm glad to be here, and I think it's the right fit."

During those visits, Brown got to chat with Boston coach Brad Stevens.

"Brad is a great guy," Brown said. "I mean, we had some conversations when I went up to Boston, and he seems like a very smart guy, so that's a very fair statement. It feels great. It feels like it's an honor, it's a privilege to play for somebody like that."

General manager Danny Ainge is known for draft day trades, but has told ESPN's Andy Katz that they will not be trading Brown. He will be playing for them this season. 

"No players were in when I was in either time, but I know a few of them," Brown said. "I know James Young went to Kentucky. I don't know him personally but I know of him, and Isaiah Thomas, the point guard, I know he's really close with the actual Isiah Thomas. So that relationship is probably going to be set when we get there and everything, but that's about it. I don't know really anybody on the team, but I do know that they're a playoff team and they're looking for somebody to come and add and not take away from what they've been doing, so that's what I want to do."

The 'actual' Isiah Thomas has ben Brown's mentor throughout the process, and was one of the reasons why he eschewed hiring an agent. Head coach Cuonzo Martin speculated that was because rookie contracts are slotted, and cannot be negotiated.

"[Thomas said] just enjoy it," Brown said. "I'm still a kid. He reminds me of that. I'm only 19, and sometimes, we forget that, because I'm trying to do things so independently, but just be a kid, be yourself, never compromise your values, and always remember who you are and where you cam from."

According to Forbes reporter Jason Belzer, Brown's rookie salary is projected to be a guaranteed $9,699,480, and up to $21,404,269.

On social media, a segment of Boston fans lamented not using Brown to get 6-foot-7 guard Jimmy Butler. Coincidentally, Brown and Butler crossed paths in Chicago, at the NBA Combine, after which Butler endorsed Brown and his work ethic.

"Me and Jimmy, we kind of have the same mentality," Brown said. "I met him in Chicago for the first time at the NBA Combine and we have the same trainer and he said we have similar work ethics so he wanted to see for himself. So he cut his vacation short, got in the gym with me, we worked out, and then we ended up playing one-on-one and we ended up being in there an extra hour. We ended up going tooth and nail at it. So Jimmy is a great worker and it's an extraordinary compliment from someone like that.

"We played to three because I guess he thought it would be easy, and then somebody won the first game and then he wanted to keep going. And so we kept going after that, then he won the second, then he won the third, then I won the fourth, and we ended up playing all the way to 21."

Brown, who shot 29.8% from three this season, won't have to re-engineer his shot, said analyst Jay Bilas.

"He's got a decent stroke," Bilas said during NBA Draft coverage on ESPn. "He's not a great ball handler. The turnovers showed that. He was a bit wild at times, but he's really good in transition, and, physically, he's ready. He's got all the tools. He's one of these risk-reward guys at No. 3. You take him at three, he's got some developing to do, but the tools are all there, and he's a great kid, a hard worker. He seems to get it, but he's one of those guys that's got a ways to go. I didn't see him at three. That's higher than I would have expected for Jaylen Brown."


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