In the last post I mentioned Billy King’s draft history. It seemed to indicate that he drafts a lot of "young athletes" and he moves around a great deal in the draft. Looking at a list of his draft picks from 1998-2007, King drafted Larry Hughes (#8 in 1998), Speedy (#20 in 1999), Samuel Dalembert (#26 in 2001), Ander Igoudala (#9 in 2004), Louis Williams (#45 in 2005) and Thaddeus Young (#12 in 2007). He also traded picks for a player 3 times or for other picks 5 times maneuvering around in the draft a great deal. This is a much different approach than his predecessor, Rod Thorn.
Keeping this in mind here are some thinks to think about for the next two drafts. Now I am basing much of my analysis off of youtube clips and www.draftexpress.com, http://espn.go.com/nba/draft and www.nbadraft.net
Looking at the 2011 draft, it seems like a strong draft. There is a great deal of depth and a few possible franchise type players. If there is a lock out it may effect the depth of this draft. Still, it stands to improve the 2012 draft where the Nets could add possible two pretty good pieces. The top of the 2011 draft includes the likes of Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger, and Enes Kanter. I would be surprised if the Nets had the opportunity to draft any of these guys (if they come out) unless they get lucky in the lottery.
Harrison Barnes - even though he just got shut down (0-12 from the field against Minnesota) he seems like a legit franchise player that would fit into the Nets core well.
Perry Jones – He seems like a phenomenal athlete and is skilled. He is listed at 6’ 11" with great length and leaping ability. I just worry about his attitude. He has been criticized because his team was not competitive this year and in this interview from draftexpress he addresses this by saying that he didn’t get along with the coach and the players on the team. I’ll keep an eye on him this year, but he would worry me. Although the thought of him and Favors on the same court is scary.
Kyrie Irving – one to watch, a pass first point guard and another good kid. He is not supposed to be a super athletic kid so I’m holding off judgement until I see him play a couple of times. If he does look like Chris Paul he could be another franchise guy.
Sullinger – every report on this kid is glowing, he already has started the year strong at Ohio State. Is not a super athlete and may not be ideal height for an NBA power forward but will definitely be a good NBA player. Not sure how he would fit in at power forward for the Nets.
Kanter – looks solid on video, looks like a center but its hard to tell. We’ll see what happens now that he has been ruled inelible by the NCAA. I’m on hold.
The European crop if you do not include Kantor is consists of Jan Vesley, Jonas Valanciunas, Dontas Motiejunas and now Bojan Boddanovic.
Montiejunas - an offensive minded big who doesn’t seem to like contact – pass.
Valanciunas – body not there yet but seems to have the frame, could be legit NBA center in time.
Vesley – I think he might be the best of the bunch. Draftexpress like him the most and they seem to have the better grasp on international prospects. He doesn’t sound like a star but you can be sure your getting a good starting SF/PF.
Boddanovic – a rising European who is having a great year. I worry about Euro imports without a track record. They seem to fail more often than not.
There are some other interesting prospects to watch this year that might be good picks for the Nets. Most of them fit Billy King’s template.
Josh Selby – he is currently on NCAA suspension but looks to have the ability to score, which the Nets need. I am not sure if he will be able or willing to defend on the NBA level.
Rodney Williams – HE IS MY SLEEPER. He just shut down Harrison Barnes in a matchup that Minnesota won. He doesn’t score in the methodical system that Tubby Smith runs, but he has jawbreaking athleticism.
John Henson – another interesting guy. He is really skinny, but if his body could hold up or he could develop an outside game he could be a good NBA players. He is active on the boards and has ridiculously long length.
Malcolm Lee – a shooting guard/ point guard for the Bruins he is now the point under Howland. He has had success grooming points in the past and has the physical tools to be able to guard and attack the basket. I would keep an eye on him. Expect his stock to rise near draft time.
Terrence Jones – a Kentucky freshmen who many are high on this year. Many people think that he, not Knight, will be the big Calipari product this year. He is more skilled than athletic and has been compared to Lamar Odom.
Lucas Nogueira – a big man out of Brazil, he has sleeper written all over him. If you watch the video he looks like a presence around the basket. I hope the Nets can buy a late first or use an early second to stash him in Brazil for a few years and let him develop.
Ian Miller – a freshmen at Florida State who is just moving to the point. He looks to have real good athleticism and is a late bloomer. I am not sure how good the coaches are at Florida State, but if he can develop some skills it will be interesting.