New Mock Drafts still have Nets going in many different directions

Kevin C. Cox

With the draft now six days away, mock drafts can't agree on which way the Nets are going to go in the real one. We take an extensive look at the most popular mocks and who they think will be playing in black and white next season.

And now comes the off-season. With 2012-13 ending in a barrage of LeBron James three's, the planning for 2013-14 begins, starting with the Draft, now only six days away.

The Nets seem to have telegraphed their plans for Barclays Center next Thursday night: go for a veteran college player, with three or four years experience, in the first round and consider acquiring pick(s) presumably in the second round, perhaps to stash a player or two in Europe.

Billy King and Jason Kidd have both said the team needs some three-point shooting, some athleticism and if C.J. Watson leaves, a back-up point guard. The Nets aren't likely to find a back-up point guard in the Draft and they already have a 23-year-old back-up in Tyshawn Taylor. The other two needs could be helped by a smart draft pick. (Note neither has talked about the need for a back-up big man)

This year's draft is a tough one to gauge. Many teams are deciding between several players, while others are hoping one will drop to their pick and at least one team, the Mavericks, is looking to dump its lottery pick..

In the Nets case, they may have too many options.

Ever since the first set of mock drafts were released, the Nets have been linked to a variety of different prospects, ranging from a change-of-pace point guard to a defensive-minded big man. Now, In this week's batch of mock drafts, it's the same story—no one truly knows who the Nets are going to take, but it does seem at least some of the draftniks have been following what the GM and head coach have been saying.

Chad Ford Mock Draft 5.0- Nets take Tony Snell, Small Forward, New Mexico State

Ford's mock drafts are one of the most widely known out there and they usually bring up the most speculation. With that being said, this pick of Tony Snell would provide the Nets a two-way player to give some minutes rest to Gerald Wallace.

Snell has the tools to become a capable starting small forward, but still needs to develop. Snell has issues with his ball handling and taking his defender off the dribble. However, Snell was an efficient 39% when shooting beyond the arc for the Lobos this past season.

Most importantly, Snell is an athlete. He has a wingspan of 6'11.5" and is a great leaper. If he can put on some weight and refine his game, Snell wind up in Brooklyn.

Draft Express Mock Draft- Nets take Gorgui Dieng, Center, Louisville

The draftniks think Dieng may be available at #22 because of his age, 23, and his history of injuries, one of which has bothered him in workouts. However, the Nets don't believe 21 teams above them will pass on him.

Dieng is an athletic 6'11" center that possesses strong shot blocking abilities, but the most intriguing facet of his game is his passing ability. In the post, Dieng isn't a strong face-up player and doesn't do well with bigger bodies pushing against him, so he has developed a fine passing game out to the perimeter, making his teammates a threat at all times. This is a rare skill set for big men in today's game.

At 23, this is a you-see-what-you-get prospect, a defensive-first player that doesn't have much of an offensive game except for the possible step-back jumper from 15 feet. The Nets need a serviceable backup to Brook Lopez especially one that poses as more of a defensive threat than he does.

NBADraft.Net Mock Draft- Nets take Tony Mitchell, Power Forward, North Texas

We noted a few weeks back that Tony Mitchell may be the prospect to slide the furthest from his original position come draft night, and he hasn't stopped the fall.

Mitchell lacks much intensity and basketball IQ, but does have an NBA body and freakish athleticism. His 7'2" wingspan and 38" max vertical are both on the high end for a player of his size, which makes him an intriguing prospect for teams.

However, many teams, including the Nets, aren't sold. Mitchell tries to play point forward too often and settles for jump shots with a hand in his face, and he isn't a good enough shooter to hit those types of shots. His freshman season at North Texas made him a potential lottery pick, but issues at school this past year make him a risky pick.

Mitchell did workout at the PNY Center for the Nets earlier this week, but he didn't do anything that makes him the player of choice at #22—especially with the bevy of players they will likely be able to choose from at that point. And don't forget Kidd said Wednesday he hadn't been impressed by any of the prospects he had seen thus far. He had seen Mitchell Tuesday.

Chris Mannix Mock Draft 4.0- Nets take Shane Larkin, Point Guard, Miami

Mannix has kept Larkin here in his past three mocks and it hasn't made much sense until last week when C.J Watson reportedly said he was opting out of his contract.

Larkin could give the Nets a spark off the bench behind Deron Williams on both ends of the floor, Larkin is one of the fastest players in the draft and plays with reckless abandon on defense. He also has great court vision, which could make it possible for the Nets to play both Williams and Larkin in the backcourt together, similar to the Williams and Watson duo last season.

Could this be a nice draft pick by the Nets? Yes and no. Larkin gives them the energy the team needs off the bench, but there are much more glaring weakness on this roster for them to not look elsewhere first. Moreover, the Nets will no doubt look for a veteran point guard if Watson leaves. Kidd and King have said that. If that's the case, would they take a 6'0" rookie and wind up with four point guards?

Joe Kotoch (Sheridan Hoops) Mock Draft 5.0.1- Nets take Tim Hardaway Jr, Shooting Guard, Michigan

While analyzing Mitchell's plight in the draft, we wrote about the rise of Tim Hardaway Jr.

Hardaway has been steadily climbing draft boards and now seems to have worked his way into the first round

He has experience as a captain for the Michigan team that was National Championship runners-up this past season and has matured greatly from his sophomore to junior season, a great sign for his NBA career. Not only does he possess leadership qualities, but also he also has fine perimeter shooting game. Hardaway can space the floor for the Nets and give them enough length in the backcourt for Joe Johnson to play small forward as well.

Hardaway isn't a lights out defender by any means and does have trouble creating his own shot, but with the attitude that he now has, he can work on these issues and could backup to Johnson in the future. Of course, the Nets expect to bring over Bojan Bogdanovic too. Is the roster big enough for all these guards?

Hardaway is coming in for a workout with the Nets before draft night a week from Thursday.

–––––––––––––

At Thursday's workout, the star didn't play. Isaiah Canaan, a 6'0" senior out of mid-major Murray State, hurt his ankle earlier in the week so the Nets interviewed him but didn't work him out. The Nets think he is a first round talent, according to chief scout Gregg Polinsky, but would the Nets take him at #22? We have only a little more time to wait.

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