The more I look at the draft board and how things will likely shake out (again too early to really have a handle on things though - with the lottery still not decided) I am starting to think that the best draft strategy for the Nets might be the most unlikely position strategy. Just looking at the roster, you could make the argument that the Nets really need to bolster the 2 and 3 spots, and a backup PF and Center would be excellent targets as well.
However, as I look at mock drafts and think of how this draft might shape up - at 27 it might make the most sense to go with a backup PG. This is going to be met with a lot of skepticism, but there is really nobody at 27 who is going to make a difference on this team on the wing. We needed to be picking 10 picks earlier for that. And the best PF propsect (Kenneth Faried) will only end up returning to Newark if we package our 2nd rounder and 27th pick and some cash and move up into the top 16. With the lack of true talent in this draft, I have to agree with Chad Ford's latest mock that there is no way the Knicks pass on Faried. And if they do, he won't fall past the Blazers at 21. My preference has always been to get Faried on this team - as the backup to Hump to give us a 1-2 combination at the 4 position which will dominate the glass against 90% of NBA matchups. Unfortunately, barring a trade, this won't happen.
Conversely, there are no backup Center options who are an improvement over Petro (and that says A LOT)!
And, there really isn't anyone who is going to be step into the rotation at the 2/3 position in this draft (outside of the lottery). The only exception to that is Chris Singleton - who could be a very impressive defensive stopper - yet I don't see him being on the board at 27 either (that Lakers hot streak before the playoffs really hurt us - even being at 25 would have been a big benefit for us).
And most of the other guys are going to be projects (Jeremy Tyler, Lucas Nogueira, etc) who could very well still be available in the second round (read non-guaranteed contracts).
The NBA is clearly becoming a PG driven league - and assuming that the Nets are able to deal Farmar this summer (which I firmly believe is the plan) the Nets are going to open camp with DWill and a gaping hole with either Gaines or Uzoh behind him on the depth chart. Having a PG like DWill definitely makes the backup PG position a bit less relevant than on most teams - but we witnessed first hand in the Kidd era - the lack of a quality backup PG really hurt us at times.
There are a couple of veteran PGs who are certain to be on the board at 27......Shelvin Mack and Charles Jenkins. Both of these guys have had tremendous college careers (2 Final Fours for Mack, +2,500 points for Jenkins), and have big power PG bodies and are adept at attacking the basket, knocking down the outside jumper and dishing to teammates.
In a draft devoid of sure fire starters or even rotation players in the latter half of the first round - solidifying the PG position for the next 5 years would not be the worst decision for Billy King and Avery Johnson to make. And with that early 2nd rounder - to focus on a project player like Tyler, Nogueira, Parsons, or Malcolm Lee).