Nets’ pick swap continues to fall, but who could they target? Part II

(AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)

Nets’ pick swap continues to fall, but who could they target? Part II

Here are some facts for you: the Brooklyn Nets are 9-44 and easily own the NBA’s worst record, Jeremy Lin has played all of 12 games thanks to a difficult hamstring, and numberFire puts their odds of making the playoffs officially at 0.1%.

Oh, and of course, the Boston Celtics have the right to swap picks with the Nets in 2017 (duh) and outright own the selection in 2018 (ugh), two drafts that many pundits and analysts see as strong potential fruit bearers. With the Nets in the NBA’s basement, the Celtics probably have their eye on Washington’s Markelle Fultz, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, or Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox — all talented, athletic point guards that Nets would certainly benefit from adding.

But what about the flipside of that haunted, ghastly coin? As of today, the Celtics sit at 33-19, good for somewhere in the 25th/26th selection in the first round. They’re certainly a hot streak away from pushing their record as high as 4th-best and are an injury away from slipping into the Eastern Conference’s middle-pack — but the season is just heating up.

Last month, we checked out Jason Blossomgame, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Miles Bridges, but they continue to rise up the draft boards. So, now, here’s a new group of players the Nets could target according to the experts!

If the Nets are likely to end up in that 25th pick range, who might they chase?

Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
Chris Stone, Fansided:

“Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans has been one of the top point guards in college basketball this season, averaging 26.6 points and 7.8 assists per 40 minutes with a 54.1 true shooting percentage. He is the focal point of the Cowboys’ offense, using 32.2 percent of possessions when he’s on the floor and assisting on another 39.1 percent of them. Evans is quick with the ball in his hands and probably the best pick-and-roll ball handler in the country. The one concern with Evans on offense is his turnover rate. He’s committing 4.2 per 40 minutes as a sophomore. Some of that is likely a product of how big of a role he plays for Oklahoma State, but some of it is no doubt poor decision-making.

On defense, Evans won’t be very versatile because of his size (6-foot), but he should be able to handle controlling the point of attack. He plays hard and moves well plus he does a nice job of attacking passing lanes. Over two seasons — with two coaches and varying defensive styles — Evans is averaging 2.3 steals per 40 minutes.”

Alec Peters, PF, Valparaiso
Jonathan Givony, The Vertical:

“The Nets are among the NBA leaders in 3-point attempts, clearly embracing the pace-and-space era. The problem is they don’t make enough of them. Enter Peters, one of the top scorers in college basketball. He also has extraordinary intangibles, which could go a long way in improving the team’s locker-room culture.”

For highlights, head here.

Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
Gary Parrish, CBS:

“Bam Adebayo is an undersized center with no real skills away from the basket, which is why a place in the lottery seems unlikely. But what he lacks in that department he mostly makes up for with a high-motor and approach that makes him want to dunk everything. And there’s usually a place on an NBA roster for players with that type of ferociousness.”

For highlights, head here.

Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
Andrew Sharp, Sports Illustrated:

“He’s the leading scorer on a good Louisville team that plays some of the best defense in the country. As a scrappy third guard sent to harass people off the bench, he could be a fun addition to an NBA rotation.”

Brian Rauf, ChatSports:

“Without many draft picks for the next few years, Brooklyn needs to gamble with this late pick – and Mitchell is the high-upside prospect who fits the bill. He might be the best athlete in this class (which is saying something) and has developed a good jump shot, making an average of two three-pointers per game this season.

Mitchell is still scratching the surface of how good he can be and is already an elite defender in college basketball. The Nets would love to watch him develop into much more.”

Rodions Kurucs, SF, FC Barcelona B
Maxwell Ogden, Hoops Habit:

“Rodions Kurucs aims to play in the NBA, which he has the size, athleticism, and competitiveness to do. He uses his body well when working along the interior and is a big target when running in transition and working the baseline.

Kurucs also has range on his jump shot, but the appeal in him as a prospect is about more than just the skills he possesses.

Kurucs has a level of confidence that’s tough to find in young players who are looking to develop and make the leap to the NBA. He isn’t yet as polished as he needs to be, but he’s found his place as one of the more promising prospects in this draft class.

Kurucs is playing most of his games with Barcelona’s second-tier team, but he’s made his name on all stages of play.”

For highlights, head here.

Other Selections:

Andrew Jones, Kentucky, G — Chad Ford, Bleacher Report
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse, PF —
Anzejs Pasecniks, Gran Canaria, Spain, C — DraftExpress