The Indiana Pacers signed him to a three-year deal after two straight 10-day contracts. Four straight starts later, it seems clear that this is no fluke.
With centers Myles Turner (toe) and Goga Bitadze (ankle), Brissett was given an opportunity that not many two-way players ever get, and even fewer parlay into extended contracts with NBA squads. Since Turner’s injury, Brissett has started every game. The forward notched 13 points in the first bout, then erupted for 23 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs, in round two. Brissett led Indiana to a 122-116 win over Oklahoma City. Pacers fans didn’t care about All-Star Domantas Sabonis and TJ Warren missing the contest. They had Oshae.
At 6-foot-7, Brissett fits in nicely when the Pacers want to play small-ball, which has become increasingly important in today’s game. Turner and Sabonis are bonafide All-Stars, but less affective when opposing teams want to push the tempo. Leave it to Oshae to bring an extra dimension to a team on the cusp of making the playoffs, likely clashing with Brooklyn (the top scoring offense in the league) in the first round if they make it past the play-in tournament.
Brissett’s success feels like it will have the Jerami Grant effect. It can only help the program for recruits to see former players make it in the NBA. But in the age of transfer portals, prep-to-pro G-Leaguers, and lucrative sponsorship deals for rookies, immediacy is key.
Brissett spent two years at Syracuse while averaging 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds. Yet, he still wasn’t drafted. It’s a great story and accomplishment that he earned a deal with the Pacers after playing in the G-League, but the road not taken is not desirable to recruits with their sights set on the lottery.
So don’t expect Brissett’s NBA boom to affect this year’s recruiting class. Just enjoy the ride.