2012 NBA Draft
The NBA Draft Combine ended Friday with the release of measurements for all 60 players who attended. Most of the big names were there only for measurements and interviews. For the Nets, who still only have the #57 pick but are looking, the Combine was still valuable said Bobby Marks. It's all about building a database, or as he called it a "library."
What's this about? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will work out for the Cavaliers, Bobcats, Wizards, Trail Blazers --all top five picks-- and the Nets, who as of now has the #57 pick. Word from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer is that MKG is traveling to New Jersey out of loyalty: the West Orange native has long been a Nets fan, like his pal, Kyrie Irving.
How high do the Nets think they will be able to go in the Draft on June 28? Sounds like late teens, early 20's. On Wednesday, they were one of four teams who interviewed Kentucky guard Marquis Teague, who is likely mid-first round pick. The others were Miami, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Teague is the brother of Jeff Teague, the Hawks guard.
In an interview at the Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago Thursday, Avery Johnson reiterated what Billy King has said publicly and other team insiders have said privately: that the Nets intend to add a first round pick to go with the pick they have at #57.
Our weekly calendar for the Nets: It's time for the Combines, where players show off to NBA scouts in Chicago and Treviso, Italy. In the next week, there will be three combines: the D-League Combine starting Monday in Chicago; then the NBA Pre-Draft Combine starting Thursday, also in Chicago and finally the Adidas EuroCamp Sunday in Treviso.
Billy King has said the Nets won't acquire a pick just to have one, but he has said he plans to be "aggressive" in Newark on June 28. "Not having this pick doesn’t preclude us from getting a pick in the draft. We’re going to evaluate it,' said King. "If there’s a player we want, we’ll do everything we can to get that player." But how realistic is that?
Billy went into Draft Night last June with the #27 and #36. He came out with the #25 (Marshon Brooks), the #31 (Bojan Bogdanovic) and the #36 (Jordan Williams). In the process he sent $1.5 million of Mikhail Prokhorov's money and the Nets' 2013 second rounder to Minnesota and the Nets' 2014 second rounder to Boston. Expect more of the same June 28.
The Nets will have only one pick, #57, in the second round, going into the NBA Draft on June 28. The team had hoped it could re-purchase the rights to the #60 pick, which they had given up to the Lakers in the Sasha Vujacic deal, but L.A. wants to keep the pick. The Nets chances at getting the pick back were always minimal.
Billy King took it on the chin Wednesday, first with the Yahoo! Sports report (later denied) that Deron Williams wouldn't return unless the Nets signed Dwight Howard, then losing the team's first round pick in the Lottery. In between, Chad Ford called for him to be fired for the Gerald Wallace trade and fans excoriated him.
The Nets will surrender their first round draft pick this June to the Portland Trail Blazers. They finished 6th in the Draft Lottery. As part of the Gerald Wallace trade at the deadline, the Nets agreed to deal their pick unless it was top three and Wednesday night, they lost.
The Nets rep in the Draft Lottery will go into Wednesday night with no special memento, just positive thoughts. "I don't have a good luck charm," Irina Pavlova told NetsDaily Tuesday, "But I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking and intuition. And both are telling me we're gonna do well tomorrow! I really do believe there are great things just ahead of us!"
Two things to know about the Draft Lottery Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET): past performance is no guarantee of future success and "it's a big day", as Billy King tells Ben Couch. For all the positive reinforcement provided by history, each draft is its unique event, with unique probabilities. That aside, it will indeed be a "big day."
Irina Pavlova, president of Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports & Entertainment US, will have the seat of honor at the NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday. Pavlova will try to do what no Nets executive or owner, including Prokhorov and Jay-Z, has done since 2000, move up in the Draft.
The next two weeks are not just about the Draft Lottery. Over that time span, the Nets will begin working out draft prospects at the PNY Center, either for a top three pick, one or two second round picks or for a pick somewhere late first/early second round while trying to persuade agents that their guys should fly to New Jersey because Mikhail Prokhorov might free up some money.
Not getting ahead of ourselves here, but eight times in the last 15 years, a team with the fifth worst record or lower has won the overall #1, producing Kenyon Martin, Yao Ming, Andrew Bogut, Andrea Bargnani, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Kyrie Irving. So if the Nets win the lottery Wednesday, would they keep it, pick Anthony Davis or trade it for Dwight Howard?
You can call this our Draft Lottery preview where we offer positive reinforcement for those optimistic fans. The Draft Lottery will be a big deal for the franchise and there is some reason for hope: In eight of the last 15 drafts, and in four of the last five, a team that finished with the 5th worst record or lower vaulted into overall #1.
Starting shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday night, the heat will be on. The Miami Heat may be on at 8:30. We're talking about the Draft and Billy King. As King has said, after the Draft Lottery is when everyone will know the draft order and when everyone will be able to see who's got what and start making phone calls.
The biggest surprise statistically of the Nets Combine was Zach Rosen's speed. The Ivy League Player of the Year recorded one of the fastest times of any player timed at an NBA combine, only a "a fraction of a second slower than Derrick Rose." Other surprises included Jae Crowder's height, listed at 6'6" by Marquette, but less than 6'4" in reality.
Twice during Sunday's Nets Combine, Tony Mitchell took a pass in the open court and flushed it with a reverse dunk. The 6'6" Alabama swingman with a 39" vertical was probably the most talented player at the two-day combine and one the Nets have their eye on, but may wind up in the second round because problems dealing with his coach at 'Bama.
The Nets calendar finally gets interesting. Over the next two weeks, the Nets will have their first ever free agent mini-camp, start individual workouts, learn whether they will have a top three pick (and the #60 pick), and participate in another mass workout in Minneapolis.
The second day of the Nets Combine open Sunday morning, with another group of 22 in house to impress the NBA GM's and scouts from Boston to L.A. And the basketball operations types won't just be talking talent, says Billy King. They may be talking Draft Night trades.
Deron Williams and Brook Lopez both made appearances at the Nets Combine Saturday with Williams watching the whole first session of the mass workout while seated with Billy King and Bobby Marks. Neither Williams nor Lopez spoke with the media, but Billy King did. In particular, King said that while Lopez's recovery remains on track, he is not permitted running or jumping
Donte Poole is not on anyone's mock draft, but the 6'3" shooting guard from Murray State is in New Jersey Saturday morning, hoping that his play at the Nets mass workout will earn him individual workouts with one or more of the 30 teams whose scouts will be sitting behind two rows of tables at the PNY Center.
When 44 draft prospects start shooting around at Saturday morning's mass workout, they will be dressed in black-and-white "Brooklyn Basketball" practice gear; will run into black-and-white wall padding; will get measured in front of a black-and-white measuring sheet; and do interviews in front of a black-and-white background with black-and-white Brooklyn Nets logos.
Evan Fournier, a 6'7" combo guard from Poitiers, France, is the top prospect scheduled for the Nets' mass workout this weekend at PNY Center. Fournier, who the Nets have scouted on several occasions, is one of 44 prospects, mostly second rounders, who will work out in front of 30 NBA teams Saturday and Sunday.
Some 40+ draft prospects will gather at the PNY Center next weekend for a mass draft workout sponsored by the Nets and Rockets, one of only two before the Draft. But as in years past, the roster for the event will not include the draft's top talent. No lottery candidates will attend. Most are likely to be second rounders at best.
Chad Ford, who has a pretty good track record in scouting out the Nets Draft Day intentions, writes that if the Nets do keep their top three pick, their draft board reads: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, both of Kentucky, and in a bit of a surprise, Bradley Beal, Florida's 6'5" shooting guard.
Reading the NBA press release Friday about tie-breakers, we were a little mystified to see that the league listed the Nets as having the sixtieth and last pick in the 2012 Draft, the so-called "Mr. Irrelevant." Indeed, we learned it was true.