Tonight, the NBA Draft descends on the Barclays Center for what should be an evening of surprises, madness and pure, unadulterated insanity. A particularly weak draft last year was punctuated by the news that GM Billy King had struck a deal for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Although King admitted yesterday that the chances of acquiring a pick is “not good,” the Brooklyn Nets will still likely try to buy a second round selection.
In honor of the day that brought the Nets two bonafide legends (and a truck-load of irrational confidence), The Brooklyn Game is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the 2013 NBA Draft with a special roundtable.
1. Will the Nets buy a pick?
Devin Kharpertian: Absolutely. Billy King always talks about finding the best talent, and given how deep this draft is, you have to imagine he’ll find some somewhere in the second round that he likes. The Nets can’t offer more than about $1.8 million and Jorge Gutierrez’s non-guaranteed contract, but that might be enough to snag one of Philly’s four second-round picks. My guess: they’ll buy #39 or #47.
Ben Nadeau: Yeah! I think the whole King smokescreen is easy to see through. Classic Billy King. Which I guess could be a bad thing. Or a good thing. Or it means you like Kyle Korver. We’ll just have to wait and see what King emerges tonight. But as sure as the sun, he will emerge.
Chris Hooker: Yes. They will buy into the second round and draft a player who will never play for them and have a name I will never learn how to pronounce. That’s how Proky likes to spend his money.
Daniel Soriano: If someone relatively high on the Nets’ board slips, King will definitely pull the trigger; however, I don’t think they buy a pick just for the sake of buying a pick.
2. Who would you like the Nets to draft?
Devin Kharpertian: With one of those picks? I’d guess a big man, like 7’3″ Walter Taveras or the Russian Artem Klimenko, who the Nets worked out Wednesday. (Side note: King was reminded Wednesday that he’s never drafted anyone he’s worked out, so he might do it just to mess with the media.) But that’s only if they assume Andray Blatche is gone for greener pa$tures. If not, Thanasis Antetokounmpo or Spencer Dimwiddie are two names to watch.
Ben Nadeau: This is going to sound crazy, but I want the Nets to draft Shabazz Napier for a handful of reasons. Want a rivalry? Draft the one guy that LeBron James has openly admitted he wants. Want LeBron James? Draft the one guy that LeBron James has openly admitted he wants to play with. With Shaun Livingston likely to leave and Alan Anderson opting out, the Nets could use a backup guard who has a name that isn’t Marcus or Marquis. Get Napier and win the draft.
Chris Hooker: I hope they draft CJ Fair, because he’ll probably be available in the second round and I know who he is.
Daniel Soriano: The Nets excelled when they were able to roll out lineups featuring multiple ball handlers with the size and quickness to guard multiple positions. I would expect King to keep an eye out to see if any big guards, such as Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie or fellow dukie Rodney Hood (25th and 40th on Chad Ford’s big board, respectively), fall to a spot that the Nets could buy into.
3. Should the Nets be listening to any offers for Lopez and Williams? Should they be shopping them?
Devin Kharpertian: Yes and no? No one’s going to give fair value for either of those guys right now, considering their injuries and Williams’s recent struggles, so the only reason you do it is if you’re hitting the reset button on this era of Nets basketball. That doesn’t seem to be the case, not with the 2016 free agency light flickering in the distance. So sure, they’ll take phone calls. They’ll just be brief.
Ben Nadeau: If we are to believe Chris Broussard (HA!), then the Nets have a shot at LeBron James. Could trading Lopez and freeing up some space help? Probably not. But hey, Billy King should be listening to calls for that very reason.
Chris Hooker: Hmmm. This is a question that needs an answer longer than what I can give in a round table. My opinion on this switches daily, but at this very moment, I think the wisest move is to keep last years roster as in tact as possible. Let’s hold on to these two.
Daniel Soriano: Listening? Sure, why not? With both coming off of major surgieries and carrying massive contracts, I doubt any GM would have much interest in surrendering assets for either player, so the Nets would be better off holding on to both and hoping they have bounce-back seasons.
Devin Kharpertian: Boldness isn’t my strong suit, so I’ll merely say I expect the Nets to at least inquire about this year’s annual Josh Smith sweepstakes. But I don’t expect anything beyond a check-in.
Ben Nadeau: I bet the Nets will end up with somebody ridiculous like Mo Harkless or Corey Brewer or something. It just feels right.
Chris Hooker: I’m 100% sure Billy King will not trade for Dwyane Wade on draft day. But would anyone really be surprised if he did? I’m 75% sure Billy King will not trade for Dwyane Wade on draft day. It just seems like a injured superstar with a high paycheck is classic Billy King. I’m 50% sure Billy King will not trade for Dwyane Wade on draft day. And a one-year contract no less. Would anyone really be surprised? That’s why I’m 25% sure Billy King will not trade for Dwyane Wade on draft day. A D-Wade trade is inevitable isn’t it? I’m 100% the Nets will have Wade by the end of today.
Daniel Soriano: The rights to Bojan Bogdanovic for Bogdan Bogdanovic. Not for any basketball reasons. Just to confuse the heck out of everyone.