In a Shallow Draft, Can the Nets Find That "Missing Piece"?




Shel Silverstein wrote, "It was missing a piece.  And he was not happy".  This former Playboy cartoonist turned children's writer may have been not so subtly writing a book about sexual intercourse, but as a child I loved it for different reasons.  The sequel met the Big "O" and I would too, but the Nets have not found their missing piece just yet and they are not happy - and neither are their fans.  Is it possible that the Nets can find that piece for the beginning of the strike-shortened 2011 NBA basketball season?  Or are we looking at another year of watching frustrating Nets basketball?


Today tweeted:


"DraftExpress: Weak on star power and very very shallow. Wil get worse? RT @KeeneRosenthal: 2011 draft: weak on star power but very, very deep. Thoughts?
2011-02-04 06:56:22"


So what does this mean for the Nets?  Well it would mean that the chances of the Nets getting that star player and leader of the franchise would be very difficult this year.  In looking at the first round mock from (following) and analyzing the current draft I certainly can see a lack of depth.  Still, the Nets should be able to get a good player in the top 10 and if they "get lucky" there are a few players that could begin to turn the franchise in the right direction.  The problem with this years draft is that many of the upside players are still a ways away from being solid contributors in the NBA.  Being that many fans on this site are already masochistically following NetsDaily,I worry that may make this years draft even more painful.  Additionally, it looks like many of the top players are Power Forwards and Centers, which are the two positions which we have dedicated much of our future.


"DraftExpress: That remains to be seen. Still 30 guaranteed contracts available. RT @JasonAClairmont: Will get worse when players get scared off by lockout
2011-02-04 07:04:33"


Even more complicating matters is the lingering CBA and lockout.  NetsDaily has told us that agents will front the money for draft prospects to declare.  Maybe that means that there will be pressure on the players to strike a deal quicker so that they can get their money – maybe.  Either way I would think that most of these players in the top 10 will declare.  In the foreign crop Vesely has already stated that he is going to declare, Kanter really has not other option, although it would be stupid for me to speculate on Valanciunas or Motiejunas.  The biggest question marks from the college kids would be Barnes, Irving, and Sullinger.  I think Irving is gone if he is healthy, while Barnes and Sullinger I’m not so sure.


"DraftExpress: Maybe I'm getting more pessimistic with age, but looks a lot worse to me. RT @thebrandino: Shallower than last year?? or about the same?
2011-02-04 07:01:51"


Right now the Nets stand at #6 and #25.  I would like them to move in the 3-5 area, but can’t see them finishing this bad unless there are injuries or Harris gets traded.  The #25 pick doesn’t look like it will get us much, but that is what scouting departments are for – we’ll see if all this money has been well spent.  If we stay at #6 I think we could get a good player.  I would like Barnes or Williams there; otherwise we are looking at T. Jones, Henson, or Vesely - and a probable return to the draft next year.  I am really hoping for some luck in the lottery so we can bring Irving back to jersey. If not I would like someone to fall to us.  It would not be surprising if the Nets used some of those first round picks from next year to trade up and get someone they like, as many of the players in the top five are "beauty in the eye of the beholder types".   Ultimately I think the Nets get a real quality piece.


Dreaming...of the kid from Jersey bringing some life to Newark.











Kyrie Irving  PG
18 years old; 6'2"; 185 lbs.
Duke, Freshman

He would be the ideal fit for the Nets.  Simply put he makes everyone around him better.  If the toe checks out he would be my first pick for the Nets.



Perry Jones  PF
19 years old; 6'11"; 220 lbs.
Baylor, Freshman

Tantalizingly talented, he would put your team in a tough position.  No GM wants to miss on what he might become.  The right structure needs to be in place for him to be successful.  A bad fit for the Nets chemistry wise, but if he falls past the third pick and the Nets get a shot, they have to take him – right?



Jonas Valanciunas  C
18 years old; 6'11"; 240 lbs.
Lietuvos Rytas, International

He looks REALLY skinny in the videos that I saw.  We already have a center and he looks like he will take some time.  Seems legitimately skilled, but at least two to three years away.  Another bad fit.



Jared Sullinger  PF
18 years old; 6'8"; 250 lbs.
Ohio State, Freshman

Let me just say that I do think he will be a solid NBA Power Forward, but I want better value with a top 5 pick in the draft.  He is a great college player, but in watching him, his game is mostly "under the rim".  As he gets his lower half stronger he will be able to use his body to move people, but there is little upside here.  I think he is a great fit for a team like Washington.



Derrick Williams  PF
19 years old; 6'8"; 235 lbs.
Arizona, Sophomore

Watching him it is not hard to walk away impressed with his game.  The fact that he has improved so much in his two years in college says something about how professional he will be in the NBA.  He doesn’t excite me, even though he probably should. 



Enes Kanter  C
18 years old; 6'10"; 250 lbs.
Kentucky, International

Not sure why everybody is so sure this guy is good.  There really isn’t that much to go on other than his performance against the U.S. squad over the summer.  I read somewhere that he had some injury problems that need to be "checked out".  Another person who seems like a bad fit.



Kemba Walker  PG
20 years old; 6'0"; 180 lbs.
Connecticut, Junior

Undersized, lightning quick Point Guard with an improved outside shot.  Honestly, look at the upper echelon Point Guards in the league and tell me he doesn’t sound like a spark off the bench.  In the top 10, that means that he is either overrated or this is a weak draft.  No Thanks.



Terrence Jones  SF/PF
19 years old; 6'8"; 200 lbs.
Kentucky, Freshman

Everybody’s favorite pick for the Nets.  I think he may be a bad fit.  Defensively, he would make the Nets susceptible to smaller, quicker teams that can run and offensively he is better in transition than the slow, plodding offense we are running right now.  I really like his intensity though. 



John Henson  PF
20 years old; 6'10"; 200 lbs.
North Carolina, Sophomore

I have like him for awhile and think he will be an awesome NBA player.  They say that he has gotten a lot stronger, but he is still really skinny.  It hasn’t been a problem in the NCAA as he is having a great year.  He’s intriguing.  Most people think he will be a four in the NBA.  I hope he develops his outside shot and learn how to play the three. 



Donatas Motiejunas  PF/C
20 years old; 7'0"; 215 lbs.
Benetton Treviso, International

He’s been compared to Bargnani, which automatically makes him suspect.  You just don’t win with those types of players unless you have a really strong defensive center – which Brook is not.  If he can prove that he can defend the post effectively he may be a good player.  He idolized Sabonis – that’s a good thing.



Harrison Barnes  SF
18 years old; 6'8"; 210 lbs.
North Carolina, Freshman

I can’t believe Givony updated his mock draft and left Barnes at #11.  His jumper has looked silky smooth the last three games and seems to be finding his role in the offense.  Drew has transferred and Marshal has been given the keys to the offense, which is a good thing for Barnes.  That is unless Marshal gets hurt as I’m not sure how their depth will be at PG.



Jan Vesely  SF
20 years old; 6'11"; 240 lbs.
KK Partizan Belgrade, International

Draftexpress was really high on this guy, but his stock has dropped a bit this year.  He’s not the typical European as he is more athletic than skilled.  Whatever team drafts him will be happy with him as a player.  He’s Casspri, but better.



Jimmer Fredette  PG
21 years old; 6'2"; 195 lbs.
BYU, Senior

This is really high for him and possibly an indication of the lack of depth in this draft.  Honestly, I have not seen him play a great deal, but we have Morrow already and I’m happy with that.



Chris Singleton  SF
21 years old; 6'8"; 210 lbs.
Florida State, Junior

A defensive specialist.  Low risk, low reward.  If that’s what you’re looking for than draft him.



Marcus Morris  PF
21 years old; 6'9"; 225 lbs.
Kansas, Junior

Haven’t seen him, not really that interested.



Jordan Hamilton  SF
20 years old; 6'7"; 210 lbs.
Texas, Sophomore

A volume shooter who doesn’t play defense – No thanks.



Jeff Taylor  SF
21 years old; 6'6"; 200 lbs.
Vanderbilt, Junior

Haven’t seen him.



Alec Burks  SG
19 years old; 6'6"; 200 lbs.
Colorado, Sophomore

Haven’t seen him, but I am interested.  He has gotten better and better.  He looks like he might be a solid 2.



Kawhi Leonard  SF/PF
19 years old; 6'7"; 225 lbs.
San Diego State, Sophomore

This is low for him.  He is the type of guy that teams overlook because they draft on upside – that still have long careers in the league.



Josh Selby  SG
19 years old; 6'1"; 180 lbs.
Kansas, Freshman

A 6’1" scorer – not PG.  I usually stay away from these types.  Although at the end of round one you think about it.  He hasn’t even been that good this year though.



Tobias Harris  PF
18 years old; 6'8"; 210 lbs.
Tennessee, Freshman




Brandon Knight  PG
18 years old; 6'3"; 170 lbs.
Kentucky, Freshman

I like him.  He looks quick on the floor.  I need to see his game improve before the end of the year.  I think he will find his place in Calipari’s lineup.  Look for him to move up.  Still, is he a point guard or a shooting guard?  Maybe he can be Baron Davis.



Travis Leslie  SF
20 years old; 6'4"; 202 lbs.
Georgia, Junior

Haven’t seen him.



Nolan Smith  PG/SG
22 years old; 6'3"; 185 lbs.
Duke, Senior

Seems like a backup point guard to me.  Those are guys you draft in second round.



Markieff Morris  PF
21 years old; 6'10"; 235 lbs.
Kansas, Junior

Not really that interested.



Tristan Thompson  PF
19 years old; 6'8"; 235 lbs.
Texas, Freshman

He’s interesting, but haven’t seen him.



Trey Thompkins  PF
20 years old; 6'9"; 245 lbs.
Georgia, Junior

Haven’t seen him.



Bojan Bogdanovic  SG/SF
21 years old; 6'7"; 216 lbs.
Cibona VIP Zagreb, International

Doesn’t really sound like he’ll give you much for a first round pick.



Demetri McCamey  PG
21 years old; 6'3"; 205 lbs.
Illinois, Senior

Moving up boards, but haven’t seen him.



Kyle Singler  SF/PF
22 years old; 6'9"; 210 lbs.
Duke, Senior

Has a role, but will be limited.





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