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Jaylen Brown and the burden of expectations

The Celtics boast a talented young roster, but only Jaylen Brown must shoulder the burden of being the #3 pick.

2016 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In a survey of Boston bloggers and writers at ESPN’s Celtics Summer Forecast, we were asked “which young player will have the biggest impact?” After his terrific performance at summer league (and the departure of Evan Turner), Terry Rozier was a popular pick to earn more playing time in his sophomore season. Last season, he showed a knack for rebounding the ball and playing defense, but in Utah and Las Vegas, he displayed his development as a playmaker and a capable scorer from inside and out. He received nearly half the votes from the contributors, tying with Jaylen Brown.

Even at only 19 years old, Jaylen Brown will be expected to do great things. It’s the unfortunate burden of being the #3 pick in the NBA Draft. Fans see upside in June and want progress by November. Rozier has a year on him, but he was picked at #16. If he never pans out, fans will forgive Ainge for reaching, but Brown at #3 will always be under the microscope. Many of us are already expecting him to deliver Day 1. Here’s Sean’s answer:

When you get drafted as a high lottery pick, you better be able to make an impact. Also working in his favor is that the Celtics don't have as much depth on the wing. Boston is loaded with guards, leaving few minutes available for Rozier or Hunter.

This week, Brown is participating in the NBA’s Rookie Symposium, and the cameras caught up with him at his photo shoot. Check out this sweet shot:

You can already see it, right? Jaylen throws down some ridiculous dunks in the first half of the season, gets invited to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, and pays homage to Dee Brown again in February. Sounds a lot like his new teammate Gerald Green.

That’d be fun, but the bottom line is that Brown needs to deliver wearing his own jersey, and there’s no doubt he’s on his way. He’s modeled his game after Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady and called Rajon Rondo his favorite Celtic. He’s been working out with Marcus Smart this summer, and Maine Red Claws’ head coach Scott Morrison says, "he looks like a veteran pro, not a 19-year-old kid, that's for sure. And skill-wise, since we've been out here I think he's shown a great deal of potential.” Brown’s Twitter handle is “@FCHWPO.” That stands for “Faith, Consistency, and Hard Work Pays Off.” Can’t wait to see this kid in green.

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