The Nets don't have a pick in this year's draft. However, as NetsDaily reported, they expect to be active when the second round rolls around. They hope to acquire a pick with the $2 million dollars they have left in their "cash considerations" limit. All teams can spend up to $3.2 million to buy picks or sweeten trades. They sent $1.2 million to the Pelicans in the Tyshawn Taylor trade.
With that $2 million in their pocket, the Nets will likely only be able to acquire a second-round pick, and with the depth in this year's class it will probably be one between the middle and the end of the round
The Nets do have some openings after this season concludes, and they could look to fill one or two through the draft before free agency begins. First and foremost, the Nets need defenders.
Alan Anderson may or may not be back this season. Same goes for Andrei Kirilenko. Despite Marcus Thornton's better then expected defense in Brooklyn, it has been inconsistent. The Nets could try and get a shooting guard who can play in the Nets' spread system, but who could also defend score-first guards. The team could also use a big man who can defend. Even though the Nets could have a lot of big in the fold next season if Kirilenko, Blatche, and Pierce all return, they could have the flexibility to acquire a true power forward and move Pierce back to his more natural small forward position.
That being said, here is an early look at some second-round prospects that the Nets could be interested in acquiring.
Artem Klimenko, 7'1", C, Russia
Klimenko is rated fairly high in early mock drafts. DraftExpress has him currently going 32 to the Dallas Mavericks. However, Klimenko's stock could fall into the middle and end of the second round due to the competition he plays; Klimenko played in Russia's second league this season. Klimenko did have a very successful season, though, he averaged 14 points and seven rebounds in under 23 minutes through 25 games. Klimenko has freakish size, measuring at 7'1" with shoes on and a 7'4" wingspan. He weighs less than 240 pounds right now, but he is only 20 years old so he can develop his strength and frame when he comes to the league. Klimenko runs the floor very well for his size, getting a lot of offense on the run and early post ups, and he is a great finisher around the rim. He sets fairly hard screens and holds them before he rolls to the basket and uses his long arms to finish over his defender. He is quick a defender and can defend players outside of the paint, for his long strides keep up with players off the dribble. However, Klimenko does have his fair share of issues. He can be seen many times calling for the ball and not getting it, then completely taking himself out of the next possession because he is so angry. His intensity is definitely questionable. Klimenko does lack true explosiveness as well. He doesn't get off the ground despite his length and definitely needs to develop a stronger lower body which is also a detriment to his defensive game, for he can't defend the paint very well. He definitely needs to get stronger and refine his game while also learning more fundamentals of the game. While being a fine offensive rebounder, his long arms keep plays alive, he needs to find that nose for the ball on the defensive end and work on his defensive rebounding. Klimenko is draft eligible this season and DraftExpress reports that he intends to come to the US following his season. However, he could also join the draft in 2015 and 2016, so he may opt to remain in Russia and pull his name out of the draft pool.
Patric Young, 6'9" PF, Florida
Think Reggie Evans. I know he's maddening on the offensive end, but there is no denying his motor, and Young follows suit. Young is a big, big 6'9" 240 pounds that is an animal in the paint. Of course his size isn't as towering in the pros, but the intangibles are there. Young, a senior from the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, Florida, has leadership qualities and knows how to win basketball games. Unlike Evans, Young has an exceptional offensive game in the paint; but like Evans, can't take his game outside of it. Young isn't a great rebounder on paper (he grabs a lot of offensive rebounds, but not many defensive ones), he only averaged six rebounds in his senior campaign, but he has a great motor and an exceptional defender in the paint against bigger opponents. The Nets could look to take a veteran college presence after seeing how well Mason Plumlee panned out, and Young could be a prime prospect. Several mocks have him getting selected from the middle of the second round to the end of it.
Glenn Robinson III, 6'6" SF, Michigan
This is my bold prediction for a prospect who slips into the second round. Robinson may not fit the criteria that the Nets could be interested in, a veteran college player who has a refined role set for himself in the league or an international stud who could pan out. Robinson only played two seasons at Michigan and played exceptionally well and lived up to his athletic billing. However, he rarely took over games and failed to prove that he was the best player on the floor. The sophomore could be another nice young piece the Nets could develop. Although, he does need to work on his jumper, but he is a fine slasher and can pick his spots more than adequately in the Nets smaller lineups. Robinson has the tools to defend top scoring wings, he's 6'6", 220 with long arms. In similar minutes, but a bigger role, Robinson saw his shooting percentage dip from 57 percent to 49 percent and his turnovers double, so he needs to adjust to get a heavy dose of playing time and focus from the opposition, but the attention will regress in the pros. Motor has been a question for the son of Milwaukee Bucks great, Glenn Robinson, often in his two seasons as a Wolverine. Robinson has often disappeared during games despite having the talent to beat anybody on the floor. Despite his flaws, Robinson could be a mid-first rounder if he develops his jumper and proves that he can put his mind to the game. Although, he could slip all the way into the second round if he doesn't prove his worth during workouts.
Roy Devyn Marble, 6'6" SG, Iowa
Marble presents the Nets with an intriguing option in the middle of the second round. The Hawkeye is projected to go 41 in DraftExpress' latest mock draft and could fill a clog that the Nets impending free agent Alan Anderson could open up. Marble is a fine defender with exceptional athleticism. He has the length to compete with small forwards, and the lateral quickness to keep up with crafty shooting guards. However, Marble needs to be a more consistent defender and react more to his opposition's movement, too many times he can be caught a step too late on his man off the dribble. Marble has a fine shooting stroke, but isn't consistent. He did embrace the role as the go-to scorer in his senior season at Iowa, scoring 17 points per game while shooting 42% from the floor. Even though he can score, Marble is not a knock-down shooter, for he doesn't do well with a defender on him and isn't as efficient of a jump shooter off the dribble. The lanky guard can slash hard to the rim, though. When he gets into the lane, he finds his teammates well and can finish around the rim with either hand with ease. Marble has the athletic abilities, but definitely needs to develop in the pros. He makes some mental errors such as getting caught ball watching too often and needs to become a more consistent free throw shooter. Marble could end up going undrafted with the high amount of wings in this draft, but there is no denying his quickness and natural abilities.
James Michael McAdoo, 6'9" PF, North Carolina
Everyone remembers freshman James Michael McAdoo. Highly touted prospect with heaps of athleticism and could be a top five pick in the 2012 draft. Well, about that. McAdoo never developed into the prospect he was expected to be out of high school. He is a tweener. Despite being a physical 6'9", he can't shoot past the elbow and certainly can't take his game out to the perimeter. However, he can't bully power forwards in the paint and shoot over them. That is his first problem. Past that, McAdoo can't create his own shot off the dribble and when he puts the ball down on the floor he doesn't do much with it. McAdoo only shot 46% from shots inside the three-point line during his junior campaign, most of which came from inside the paint. McAdoo is a guy who can hustle and definitely has the physical attributes to be a solid defender in the league, he has a 7'1" wingspan. However, he averaged less than one block per game and didn't standout as a defender. The Nets could bring in McAdoo and have him develop into their center-heavy frontcourt, but they shouldn't expect much. McAdoo could bring in his big-game experience from his three years at Chapel Hill, but his glaring weaknesses are likely there to stay. He is a mid to late second rounder currently and he will likely stay there through the workout process. He's a second cousin of Bob McAdoo, the Lakers Hall of Famer and Heat assistant coach.
Russ Smith, 6'0" PG, Louisville
Russ Smith had a prolific collegiate career that included countless highlight plays and a National Championship run during his junior season under Rick Pitino. Smith is a tiny, but long 6' and he plays as hard as anyone on the floor. He is a pest on defense despite his size and is fearless when he has the ball in his hands. One issue he has is that he isn't a true point guard, rather a 6'0" shooting guard. This won't translate well to the pros as he will not be able to get as many shots over bigger defenders. Smith did refine his game in his fourth season at Louisville, though. He became a more consistent three-point shooter, hitting on 39% of his attempts from his beyond the arc and upped his assist rate to over six assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Without Peyton Siva this season, Smith became the primary ball handler for the Cardinals and was capable at running their offense. The speedy guard will not be a true point guard at the next level, but he can certainly facilitate in small bursts during the course of the game. With the experience that the Nets could be looking for, plus his all-around talent on both sides of the ball, Smith can be a late draft pickup by Brooklyn.
Is there a chance any of these prospects become a Net? Sure, but it isn't high. The Nets would first have to acquire a pick come draft night. But as seen during last year's draft, the Nets can be quite active. Patric Young could be a solid addition to boost the Nets paint protector, and they could use another player to clean up the glass. Klimenko also possesses a unique skill set that the Nets could utilize if they opt to continue with their long-ball philosophy, for he can roll to the basket well and finish around the rim.