Just think, a week from Sunday, that's July 1, we'll know who the Nets drafted (and maybe traded for) and could have a good idea of what Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace are going to do; how much the Nets have offered Brook Lopez and for how long; and where Jordan Farmar stands on his future with the Nets. Probably will have an idea, too, about which free agents are interested in Brooklyn. In other words, just the future of the franchise hangs in the balance. Prozac, Maalox and premium malt whiskey will be in short supply.
So we take a deep breath and offer a Draft Night viewing guide, profile our final Draft Sleeper; track the sons of two assistant coaches as they pursue their careers, count the number of job seekers at Barclays Center, and wish good luck to the Killer B's.
Viewers Guide to Thursday Night
We expect to be at the Prudential Center Thursday night, with our laptop, ready to soak in the proceedings and record them as they happen.
Here's some helpful hints of what to look for between now and then and on Draft Day.
--There almost certainly will be a trade. The Nets have completed five Draft Day trades in the last four years. In 2011, the Nets traded the #25 pick and their 2014 second rounder to Boston for the the #27 pick and purchased the #31 pick from the Timberwolves for a reported $1.5 million; in 2010, the Nets traded the #27 pick to the Hawks for the #24 and #31 picks; In 2009, it was Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie; and in 2008, it was Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.
--BIG Trade talk usually starts the day or two before the Draft. Historically, the Nets big trades have broken the day of the Draft. Of course, that was under Rod Thorn. The Richard Jefferson trade broke at about 2:30 p.m. on Draft Day in 2008. The Vince Carter deal a bit earlier in 2009. If there are (unexpectedly) trade talks involving Dwight Howard, expect them to break even earlier.
--If there's a trade (or purchase) for a pick during the draft, it's not likely to be known immediately unless it's been rumored and ESPN's commentators are ready. In 2001, the Nets selected Eddie Griffin knowing the Rockets wanted him and that Houston had three first round picks. The trade was announced (to a chorus of boos) 10 picks later. In 2011, Marshon Brooks said he didn't know he had been traded when the pick was announced but knew immediately after he shook hands with David Stern and left the stage.
The reason is that trading PICKS has consequences. It limits teams in what they can do down the road. Trading RIGHTS subsequent to the pick, even minutes later, doesn't have those consequences. So if there's a rumored trade and the other team in the deal is still making the trade, don't be surprised. Just wait a few minutes till ESPN catches up. Last year, Adrian Wojanarowski seemed to have inside information on each pick and every transaction, even before Stern announced the picks! Twitter may be a better way to keep track than ESPN.
--The $3 million available through June 30 may go a bit further this year. There are reports that since the new CBA puts a ceiling on annual cash considerations, there may be more bargaining and a first round pick might cost less than $3 million. In the past any first rounder went for $3 million; a top second rounder between $1.5 million and $2 million; a mid second rounder, $750,000 to $1 million and a late first-rounder about $250,000.
--Billy King has a great record in getting value in the draft, particularly when picking late, and with traded picks. Last June, of course, the player he picked at #25, Marshon Brooks, made the All-Rookie Team. While in Philadelphia, he took Thaddeus Young at #12 in 2008 (between Acie Law and Julian Wright); Lou Williams in 2005 (the last high school player ever drafted) in 2005 with the #45 pick; took Andre Iguodala at #9 (between Rafael Araujo and Luke Jackson); took Kyle Korver and Willie Green after #40 (both with traded picks) in 2003; traded for John Salmons after the Spurs took him at #26 in 2002; took Samuel Dalembert, also at #26, in 2001; and Speedy Claxton at #20 in 2000. He also signed Raja Bell after he went undrafted.
--Immediately after the draft, the Nets (and other front offices) will make calls to agents for the undrafted, trying to sign players for the summer league and/or training camp. The Nets have a financial advantage here. As they proved in 2010, the last time the opportunity arose, they're willing to offer partial guarantees to undrafted players. Brian Zoubek of Duke got $50,000 and Ben Uzoh of Tulsa got $35,000. There are 15 spots on the Orlando Summer League roster and the only slots we know that are filled belong to Marshon Brooks, Jordan Williams, Brian Foote and Julian Wright.
--Finally, never ever say one GM or another doesn't have the assets to make a deal. Never say a player is untradeable. Teams pay their GM's and capologists a LOT of money to know the CBA and be creative within it. Expect to be surprised. (That's inside information.)
Draft Sleeper of the Week
Since we wrote that Negueba Samake is coming in for a workout, we figure we'll take a look at him in our last Draft Sleeper section. (For the record, our "sleepers" are Zach Rosen of Penn; Evan Fournier of Poitiers, France; Rob Hummel of Purdue; Robert Sacre of Gonzaga; Andre Drummond of UConn; Tony Mitchell of Alabama; Marquis Teague of Kentucky and Perry Jones III or Baylor. Last year, we nailed it with Marshon Brooks.)
Samake is a project, the kind of player you take late in the draft. A physical specimen at 7'0" and 250 pounds, he is raw, raw, raw. So were DeSagana Diop and Mouhammad Saer Sene of Senegal; Hasheem Thabeet of Tanzania and the late Yinka Dare of Nigeria. Problem with all of them is that their height and athleticism never translated into significant NBA careers...and they were all drafted in the Lottery. All were risks that turned into busts. Samake will be drafted, if at all, later, much later, with little to no risk. Seems the NBA has learned its lesson that every seven foot African player is not going to become Hakim Olajuwon or even Manute Bol.
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express wrote about Samake earlier this month after witnessing a private workout the Malian offered during the Adidas Eurocamp, one that Nets scouts reportedly attended.
Samake responded with an intriguing performance. It is difficult not to be impressed with the young center on first glance, as he possesses an incredible frame, gets off the floor very well, and finishes emphatically above the rim. With countless scouts looking on, Samake showed decent touch, and is still a ways behind his peers in terms of instruction and development, but showed enough promise to pique the interest of those watching.
Doug Overton's College Tour
With unemployment in the state, city and borough still higher than the national average, the number of people looking for work at Barclays Center has reached new levels. The Post reports Saturday that the arena operators have already received 18,812 applications for 1,900 part-time and 100 full-time jobs that will become available in time for the center’s Sept. 28 opening.