With the draft just one day away, experts around the country are building mocks that will be inevitably ruined after the first ten minutes. Nevertheless, things have begun to round into shape on the draft front — call it the calm before the storm.
Of the 11 mock drafts listed below, nine of them have the Nets taking a big man. Perhaps some are not confident that they’ll bring back Thaddeus Young.
The Nets are also reportedly shopping Mason Plumlee in order to move up.
We’ve got a fresh new dish of pre-draft gossip for you — as always, take it with a large pinch of salt. And let me know: who do you want the Nets to take?
The Boston Globe, Tim Bontemps: Jarell Martin, LSU
“With the Nets looking for additional athleticism all over the roster, they’ll take the 6-10 Martin, who could give them a nice complement to free agent forward Thaddeus Young if they can retain him next month.”
CBS Chicago, Chris Emma: Cliff Alexander, Kansas
“Low-risk, high-upside, Alexander could be a total steal or a complete bust.”
Huffington Post, Jordan Schultz: Chris McCullough, Syracuse
“Brooklyn takes a shot this late in the first with McCullough, who was having a productive freshman year before tearing his ACL in January. With range on his jumper, McCullough — with his 7-foot-3 wingspan — projects as a power forward. He will need to add strength to a lean frame, but the Nets get a really talented prospect from the Bronx.”
CBS Sports, Gary Parrish: Terry Rozier, Louisville
“Rozier was not a preseason All-American like his more celebrated teammate above. But he was Louisville’s best player down the stretch. He should be able to get into the lane consistently at the NBA level.”
Washington Post, Michael Lee: Cliff Alexander, Kansas
“The Nets plan to keep Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young but it wouldn’t hurt to take a chance on a player who was once projected to be a lottery pick but slid after an NCAA investigation on illegal benefits.”
Bleacher Report, Jonathon Wasserman: Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
“At No. 29, the Brooklyn Nets take advantage of a draft process that values potential. Rakeem Christmas would likely be a lot higher on boards if he wasn’t 23 years old.
Christmas’ stock has risen following a breakout senior year and standout performance at the NBA combine.
Without any upside left to chase this late in the draft, look for the Nets to take a hard look at Christmas, who could be physically and fundamentally ready to contribute as a reserve. “
Sports Illustrated, Chris Mannix: Jarell Martin, LSU
“Martin is an athletic forward prospect with a similar skill set to Thaddeus Young, the Nets forward who will be a free agent next month. Martin can face up, score off the dribble and run the floor. His post game is rudimentary at this point, but teams that have scouted Martin project him as a versatile role player who can provide instant offense to a second unit.”
Yahoo!/Draft Express, Jonathan Givony: Chris McCullough, Syracuse
“After being forced to swap first-round picks with Atlanta, the Nets will have to dig for gold to try to bring some sorely needed talent onto their roster. One solution could be swinging for the fences for McCullough, who has the physical attributes and upside of a top-20 pick, but is a few years away from being able to contribute because of his lack of experience and the fact he’s coming off a torn ACL. The most difficult thing to find in today’s NBA is a power forward who can shoot threes and block shots, and McCullough shows nice potential in those areas.”
SB Nation, Kevin O’Conner: Chris McCullough, Syracuse
“It’s not a good feeling when you look in your wallet and see only loose change in there. That’s how the Nets feel when they look at their future draft picks. McCullough might not be ready, but he has high upside and could’ve been a top 20 pick had he not torn his ACL. It’s possible he’ll give the Nets a greater return on their investment as a boom-or-bust pick.”
NBA.com, Scott Howard-Cooper: Cliff Alexander, Kansas
“The NBA doesn’t care that he has not played since Feb. 23 as the NCAA investigates the potential of extra benefits, unless there is a hint of a pattern of problems. On the court, Alexander is a tough, athletic big man with the potential to become an inside force while needing to develop a game beyond the restricted area. This is when limited experience, having only seriously played basketball since high school, works in his favor. Alexander can sell how far he has come in a relatively brief time and that his obvious passion on the court is a sign of his determination to get better.”
Sporting News: Delon Wright, Utah
“A lot of teams like Wright, and he could well go before this spot — Washington, Toronto, Dallas, Chicago and Portland will have interest. He is an accomplished scorer, but at age 23, will be a tough sell in terms of upside.”