Through this miserable season, I have started to get real excited about the upcoming draft. I know, I know, it's not a great class, but I am pumped to see another promising young player join the Nets. So I thought it'd be fun to comb through the top prospects and think about what each could bring to the table. I will go man-by-man, going by Aran Smith's big board, examining what each could bring to the nets.
http://www.nbadraft.net/ranking/bigboard as of today. Sorry if the hyperlink doesn't work, just copy and paste.
1) Perry Jones, SF/PF, Baylor: Long and athletic player whose NBA future could actually be on the wing. Standing at 6'11 with a 7'2 wingspan, he has great physical attributes. He also has tremendous guard skills for such a big guy, with a streaky shot out to 3 point territory and great, great ballhandling for such a big dude. However, he is raw and has no post game. Great NBA potential.
2) Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: This is the guy I like most for the Nets. A true PG, unlike Harris, who could create far more opportunities for Lopez and Favors. Great vision and and passing ability, along with tremendous quickness and ability to drive. Shot is solid, while not great. Complete pure PG prospect, who the Nets should do all they can to get.
3) Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC: While he has been disappointing, he still has great pro potential and meets the Nets need for a playmaking wing. Good speed and quickness to get in the lane, and a jumpshot to boot. A great scorer, who would be nice for the Nets, but may not come out.
4) Jared Sullinger, PF, Ohio State: Great strength and rebounding ability, and can finish around the rim. Has a back to the basket game, and is a big, strong guy who overpowers people. Not much athleticism, however. Don't think he fits the Nets, because they have Favors as a young PF prospect, and Sullinger isn't great enough to select over more positions of need.
5) Terrence Jones, SF, Kentucky: This is a great, great fit for the Nets. Jones brings hustle and great rebounding out of the 3 spot, along with passing ability and transition speed and ability to get to the rim. He is a Gerald Wallace type who the Nets really would love to have (I'm assuming). Jones is one of my favorite prospects.
6) Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky: Don't love him as much as Irving. Doesn't pass nearly as well, however he possesses incredible speed to get into the lane.
7) Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona: I'm a little perplexed by this aggressive ranking. While I like Williams as a player, he's a back-to-the-basket type guy in a face-up's body. Doesn't have a good enough jumpshot for a faceup game, doesn't have enough moves in the post for a back-to-the-basket game either. Kind of a tweener, don't love him with our pick this year.
8) Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA: Decent midrange game, with a solid post game and good rebounding skills. He is also a good defender. However, he doesn't have much of a jumpshot and is not the type of dynamic scorer the NEts are looking for. Still, if the Nets win some games and find themselves in the 10-15 range (not likely) I like Honeycutt as a pick there.
9) Enes Kanter, PF/C, Turkey: I would be shocked if Kanter enters the draft after being ruled ineligible for this season. If for some strange reason he does, I do like him, but I really doubt it.
10) Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania: Typical inside/outside Euro big, with good quickness and speed for a big guy, however, we already have a PF of the future in Favors and I don't love his slight, slight frame and underwhelming defensive and inside skills.
11) Alec Burks, SG, Colorado: Burks is a great scorer and can do so in many ways. He also rebounds well for a wing. However, his shot leaves something to be desired from a 2 guard. Solid SG prospect with a good first step, wouldn't mind him in the 11-15 range. Any earlier and I'd be upset.
12) Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia: This is a very intriguing prospect, despite the fact that I believe the Nets should use this pick on a guard or wing. Tremendously skilled guy with a post game and a shot. I like him offensively a lot, and wouldn't be upset, but as stated before, I prefer a wing.
13) CJ Leslie, SF, NC State: Tremendously athletic wing with great size and rebounding ability. Finishes inside very well, but doesn't score from the outside. The Nets can do better, get a guy more polished.
14) Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic: Great hustle player with length. However, he isn't a great scorer. We are falling into the range where the guys aren't very exciting.
15) Kemba Walker, PG, UConn: I love this guy as a player, but I don't think his score-first PG mentality fits them right now. Would be a good pick in the mid-first, where the Nets won't be.
Anyway, that wraps up the guys who are potentially going to be in play for the Nets in the draft. I will add a few more now that I find interesting, not for the Nets, just overall, to know the most about the draft as possible.
16) Kyle Singler, SF, Duke: Good offensive player leaves a lot to be desired defensively.
18) Jordan Hamilton, SG/SF, Texas: Great scorer, fits what the Nets need, but he's not talented enough to justify being picked so high. If he has a huge season I might watch out for him.
20) Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil: Skilled big guy who might be a good guy to buy a late-first round pick for and just ease him in slowly. I actually think it would be smart for Proky to trade 3M and a future second rounder for this kid, he has potential.
Second round guys include: Doron Lamb, Kawhi Leonard, Durrell Summers, Demetri McCamey, Khris Singleton, Cory Joseph.
Overall, I think the Nets' top targets in the first round should be Irving, Barnes, and T. Jones. After that it goes downhill fast, and this is not a good class at all. I'd be thrilled with one of these three however.
Please leave your own picks and your thoughts on my analysis in the comments. Feel free to disagree with me.