Browns 'NFL Finals' basketball roster: Myles Garrett, Deshaun Watson lead on the field and on the court

2022 NBA All-Star - Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
2022 NBA All-Star - Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages
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The NBA Finals came to an end on Monday, with the Denver Nuggets defeating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the series. Watching the likes of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Jimmy Butler dominate throughout the NBA playoffs (and during the NFL offseason) got me thinking: Which NFL players, and Cleveland Browns players, could truly dominate on the court?

For this exercise, I took a deep dive into the background of each player on the Browns roster in an attempt to uncover the depths of their basketball experience. Combining their history on the court with their transferable athletic ability that we see displayed on Sundays on the field, I put together a 15-man roster that I think can compete with any NFL team in the league.

Meet the Cleveland Browns basketball starting lineup:

Point Guard: Deshaun Watson

It may seem a little cliché to have the team's starting quarterback as the team's starting point guard, but Deshaun Watson has a legitimate basketball background. As he talked about in an interview with Dan Patrick, Watson is insistent that he could have played college basketball, and would have done so if he was recruited by Coach Mike Krzyzewski to Duke.

Given his height and his three-point shooting ability, Watson may be better suited as a shooting guard, but I think with his quarterback experience in the NFL, he has what it takes to distribute the rock as a point guard. Watson averaged 11.8 points per game in his junior year of high school before he presumably stopped playing to focus on football.

Shooting Guard: Greg Newsome II

In high school, do-it-all cornerback Greg Newsome II was a three-time letter winner in basketball, earning first-team All-Conference honors as a junior. Newsome was a point guard for the Glenbard High School Panthers and with his agility and athletic ability would be a very valuable two-way guard for the basketball squad. I wasn't able to find any stats for Newsome, but I am confident that he would be a very solid starter for the Browns.

Small Forward: Myles Garrett

Every Browns fan has seen Myles Garrett play basketball. Whether at a random gym, at the Celebrity All-Star Game, or on a hoop at the practice field, basketball is clearly something that Garrett enjoys and thrives at.

Garrett's brother, Sean Williams, was a first-round pick by the Nets in the 2007 NBA Draft, and Garrett often wanted to follow in his footsteps growing up. He even had some Division I offers out of high school to hit the court instead of the field.

At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, Garrett would be reminiscent of another notable small forward in Cleveland. As weird as it sounds to associate Garrett with anything "small", he would be the focus of the team as the "three". Just like he is off the edge on the field, Garrett could be a truly unstoppable force on the court.

Power Forward: Za'Darius Smith

Za'Darius Smith is a rare NFL player who only played basketball until his senior year of high school. As a junior at Greenville High School in Alabama, Smith averaged nearly 10 points per game and led the team with nearly eight rebounds and one block per game, as well. With his basketball background and his time in the NFL, Smith will bring valuable experience to a young and athletic roster for the Browns basketball team.

Center: Dawand Jones

As dominant as 2023 NFL Draft pick Dawand Jones was at the Senior Bowl, he was even more dominant on the basketball court in high school. For Ben Davis High School in Indiana, he averaged nearly 14 career points per game, over seven rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in his three years playing varsity. As a junior, Jones posted 18 PPG, nine RPG, and nearly two BPG before focusing on football as a senior.

With his 6-foot-8 and 375-pound mammoth of a body, Jones will be nearly impossible to deal with in the paint. Jones can step onto the field and hopefully be a swing tackle as a rookie, but he will undoubtedly be the starting center for this Cleveland hoops squad.