The Wolves made yet another long-term investment this past week by signing Corey Brewer to a three-year/$15 million contract. Flip Saunders wanted to address shooting this offseason, so he went out and signed Kevin Martin to a four-year deal and then re-signed Chase Budinger to a three-year contract. Now armed with some dependable shooters on wings for the foreseeable future, the Wolves will look to improve upon their league-worst 30.5% from deep — the third-worst mark in the league over the last 10 seasons.
The signing of Brewer though will likely not improve the Wolves shooting woes. As much as Saunders wants to believe that Brewer is a respectable shooter he is dead wrong and one has to hope that Rick Adelman will see this and try to limit Brewer’s chances of shooting the ball.
Over the past two years while Brewer has been away in Denver, he has been a high usage player (22% USG%) who takes his fair share of shots while on the court (~15 FGA/per 36 minutes), and funny enough didn’t find a lot of success making those shots posting a lousy 47.4% effective field goal percentage. So for Flip to say that Brewer can be a threat on offense is kind of crazy. That is like having Flip come out and say the J.J. Barea and Derrick Williams are a threat on offense. Much like Brewer, Barea and Williams both struggle with role identity. All three players are inefficient shooters who shoot a lot and don’t really seem to realize it.
Another thing Flip has said about Brewer is that he is a “very-good three-point shooter out of the corners”.
Really? Let’s take a look at those numbers.
|Right Corner||FGM||FGA||FG%||Left Corner||FGM||FGA||FG%||Corner FG%|
The league average on corner three-point attempts over the past 12 seasons is 38.6%, that’s an expected point value of 1.16 (38.6% x 3 pts = 1.16 points per shot attempt). It is not a coincidence that the corner three is the second most valuable shot, behind shots taken in the restricted area (1.20 pps). Nonetheless Brewer has never really been a good enough shooter to take advantage of it. He led the league last year in corner threes with a whopping 197 corner three attempts — the most by any player since the 2007-08 season. He took a ton of corner threes, but didn’t convert on them like his new teammate Kevin Martin, who led the league last year in corner three efficiency at 50% (56/112). Saying Brewer is a very-good corner shooter is a bit of a stretch and it seems that Flip it trying to oversell the abilities of Corey Brewer in order to justify the dollar figure that he signed him at.
How bad is Brewer at other spots on the floor?
Here are his above the break three-point numbers along with his mid range (two point attempts outside the paint) numbers.
|Above the Break||FGM||FGA||FG%||Mid Range||FGM||FGA||FG%|
For reference sake, the league average on above the break threes is 34.9% and mid range is 39.4%. Brewer doesn’t even come close to that on above the break attempts and falls below the average on mid range shots. In other words, he really has no business taking either shot.
The only shot Brewer has been able to hit at a consistent clip over the past few years has been at the rim.
The league average on shots in the restricted area is 59.8%, so you could consider Brewer an average finisher around the rim. Really that is the only spot on the floor where you could classify him as average. Hopefully Adelman contains Brewer’s shot selection to primarily cuts to the hoop, in order to minimize Brewer’s dribbling ability (hence the nickname ‘Drunken Dribbler’) and his jump shooting.
The one thing that Brewer does bring to the table is defense. Over his last two seasons, Brewer has posted a steal rate that ranks top-10 in the league.
Another thing that Brewer does well is that he doesn’t turnover the ball, which probably indicates a few things. He doesn’t try to make plays for others and once he receives the ball it is probably going up. Nevertheless with his combination of low turnovers and high steals make him a net gain when it comes to generating extra possessions which helps offset his poor shooting numbers. As the chart below shows, Brewer ranked in the top-10 in STL/TO ratio over the past two seasons.
And for the record I would have preferred the Wolves to sign the cheaper and frankly better Brewer on the list. Just take a look at the statistical comparison of the Brewer Bros here.
It’s not hard to see that Brewer isn’t a shooter, nor should he be depended on to take a high volume of shots. If Brewer can understand and embrace his role on the team he could provide some value. Value at $5 million per year though? Well he might have to start working on that jump shot justify that contract.