Although Hart and Barrett will slot into roles that are a bit more complementary, Jalen Brunson is going to be one of the top options for the United States in August. His only competition at point guard on the team is All-Star Tyrese Haliburton, but the Pacers initiator has plenty of experience at shooting guard dating back to his Sacramento Kings days.
It’s probable that Brunson will start given his decorated history with FIBA, winning MVP of the 2015 U19 World Championship while leading Team USA in scoring.
After coming off the best season of his career by far, there aren’t many aspects of his game that need to be improved. One would be to simply increase his three-point volume.
Hart is a solid yet hesitant shooter who should look to fire away when he’s open, but Brunson is an elite shooter who needs to start generating even more looks from behind the arc. He ranked 14th in the entire league in three-point percentage last year, although his 4.9 attempts per 36 minutes were second to last among everyone above him.
It’s less of a necessity for his offense to work and more of a luxury that he should further explore given his established talent. If Brunson were to become a consistent threat to pull up from three whenever given a few seconds of daylight, it would open up his ability to subsequently blow by eager defenders even more.
It’ll also be crucial for him to adapt to an environment with multiple star teammates, especially given the noise surrounding the Knicks of a potential blockbuster trade on the horizon.
Assuming Haliburton, Edwards, Ingram, and Jaren Jackson Jr. round out the starting five, all four of Brunson’s teammates in the opening lineup have an All-Star selection on their résumé.
It would be ideal for Brunson to modify his playstyle to fit with the rest of the elite talent on the roster while also asserting his status as a top scoring option, becoming a high-volume three-point shooter in the process.
It wouldn’t hurt to do some recruiting, either.