The NBA Draft Lottery is today, and until I saw someone mention it this morning, I had no idea. For anyone that’s a new fan of the Nets from Brooklyn, I’m not sure I can quite describe how freeing that feels. There’s no impetus to look at DraftExpress or collegiate Synergy to break down the year’s top prospects, or hope that the team will strike lottery gold.
I took that picture above at last year’s NBA Draft Lottery. It’s the Brooklyn Nets draft lottery ball, painted onto the wall. We won’t see that for years. And that’s awesome.
Frankly, I have no idea who or what’s available in the draft. For the first time in a half-decade, I couldn’t tell you who the top prospects are or anything about them. I barely watched college basketball this year. So I have no draft advice for Brooklyn on who will be available at that time. Here’s a few names floating around:
1) DraftExpress’s mock draft currently has the Nets taking Dario Saric, a 19-year-old 6’10” Croatian forward with poor shooting numbers but a reportedly high basketball IQ.
2) The Nets will work out Jamaal Franklin, a jack-of-all-trades junior wing player from San Diego State University. His numbers compare favorably to Kawhi Leonard, another forward that came out of SDSU currently finding success with the San Antonio Spurs.
3) Chad Ford of ESPN’s latest mock draft has the Nets taking Sergey Karasev, a 6’7″ Russian forward that shot 49% from deep in 11 Eurocup games.
Here’s what I do know: Brooklyn picks 22nd this year. I know that their roster significantly lacks athleticism in a league that increasingly values it, a defensive inside presence, and could always use another shooter. I also know that two years ago, the Denver Nuggets selected a forward named Kenneth Faried with the 22nd pick, and he has flourished into one of the league’s best rebounders, fastest forwards, and most electric finishers.
Billy King has found value late in drafts before. What he does here — even if it’s packaging the pick in a trade — will have a significant impact on next year’s roster.
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