Last week, we wrote about three potential prospects who can be a fit for the Nets if they were to acquire a late first-round pick, but more likely a second rounder. Now, we are going to take a look at three prospects who may be gone by the start of second-round, and who the Nets should look at if they were to acquire a pick in the range of picks 25-30, where there may be picks available.
K.J McDaniels, 6'6" SF, Clemson
McDaniels is one of the most well-rounded wings in the draft, having a solid offensive game while also having the ability to be a lockdown defender at the next level. At 6'6" with a 6'11" wingspan, McDaniels has the length that allows him to defend almost four positions in the NBA. McDaniels played in a very poor offensive system at Clemson last season, so his numbers are a bit skewed, but there is no denying that he is a capable shooter from beyond the arc ... If he has time to get his shot off. Despite having a slow release, he did hit one three-point shot per game last season, and with even more space in the Nets offensive scheme, McDaniels wouldl thrive. McDaniels does also have a relatively poor handle, so he will have to do much of his work off the ball in the league, but with Brooklyn, he can have a slasher's mentality all the time. With great ball handlers in the fold already, McDaniels would see much better looks from beyond the arc, but could also go straight to the rim with the ball, something he did well despite not having a great handle.
McDaniels is the perfect fit for a Brooklyn team that needs defensive-minded athletes arguably more than anything else. Not only can he can defend elite wings, he can move down to the guard position and defend point guard if the situation arises. The Nets' ability to space the floor and not have to rely on McDaniels to create for himself makes his flaws less critical. It's his strength, defense and versatility that make him such a great fit. McDaniels could also refine his three-point shot in a rotational role early in his career, giving him ample time to fine-tune it.
DraftExpress has McDaniels being selected 29 in their most recent mock and Chad Ford has him going 28. In some mocks, McDaniels is projected to go as high as 22 ...and as low as 30, so his range is broad at this point.
Spencer Dinwiddie, 6'6" PG, Colorado
First, it has to be noted that Dinwiddie tore his ACL back on January 12. However, when Dinwiddie elected to put his name in the draft pool, doctors told the junior standout that he could be playing without a brace by August 1.
Moving onto his game, Dinwiddie is one of the most intriguing prospects due to his incredible size for point guard. Michael Carter-Williams had a great rookie campaign with similar size to Dinwiddie, and Dinwiddie is stronger in different facets of his game when compared to the Rookie of the Year. Dinwiddie is a capable scorer all around the floor, hitting 56% of his shots around the basket, and 41% from three. With Brooklyn, Dinwiddie could come off the bench and fill in for Shaun Livingston. In fact, Dinwiddie says he models his game after Livingston's. They and Deron Williams also share the same agent, Jeff Schwartz. Dinwiddie is a better shooter from deep so he could change the offense a bit, making it more perimeter oriented rather than driving and kicking out. It could be a dangerous to have such length and versatility in the backcourt.
Dinwiddie loves to get out in transition and put the defense on its heels, but he also proved to be an exceptional game manager in the half-court. Dinwiddie went to the free throw line seven times per game this season, hitting on 85% of his attempts, proving that he can get to the rim easily and initiate contact. Dinwiddie also showed the ability to run the pick-and-roll and find many different options out of that action. Dinwiddie found the roll man, pulled up, or went right to the rim consistently at Colorado this past season, something that can be used often by the Nets with a healthy Brook Lopez back.
On the defensive end, Dinwiddie does fall off a bit. His effort is not always there, for he relies on his fine length -- greater than 6'8" wingspan-- to bail him out. Dinwiddie is still a capable defender with fine fundamentals, so he isn't a lost cause on D, but there are questions if he can cover quick guards in the NBA.
Of course, the knee injury hurts his stock, he will probably go in the 30's, maybe 40's, but teams may be impressed with his versatility and frame that they will take a chance on him. DX has him going 40 in their most recent mock while Chad Ford has him at 39.
P.J Hairston, 6'5" SG, North Carolina, Texas Legends
Hairston was dismissed from North Carolina during the early part of the season, so he moved onto the D-League and absolutely tore it up playing for the Texas Legends. It may be cool that Hairston averaged nearly 22 points per game in 26 games in the D-League, but it also led to bad habits towards the end of his season. The D-League is a very loose brand of basketball and the effort isn't always there. Towards the end of the season, Hairston's game showed those effects. Either way, there is no denying that Hairston is an NBA-ready prospect
Standing 6'5" and weighing 230 pounds, Hairston is a bully on offense, using his quick first step to get past defenders and to the rim. However, Hairston can't run an offense, for he needs to play off the ball and find his shot from beyond the arc, where he excels. Hairston hit 73 three-point shots for the Legends this season, knocking them down in a variety of different ways.
Hairston also proved to be a strong defender as well. He has a great wingspan at 6'9.5", which makes him able to defend small forwards as well as shooting guards. When focused, Hairston is an aggressive defender who steps into passing lanes and fights through screens, something he must be able to do in the NBA when defending ball dominant wings. When not focused, Hairston plays very poor defense and is already focused on the next offensive possession during the current defensive possession.
Hairston isn't a great passer either, for he's a pure shooter who creates for himself, not for others. Teams have to be prepared to deal with Harriston if he can't get into a rhythm, because he can become a black hole on both sides of the floor.
All in all, Hairston is one of the most NBA-ready prospects this draft has to offer. His shot will translate well to the next level and his aggressiveness on offense should come naturally. However, it is the off the floor and effort issues that teams must be aware of before they select him. If Hairston can put his mind to the game, there is no reason for him not to be a key contributor.
There are other possibilities like Kyle Anderson, who we've discussed before. And who knows if there's an international player out there who the team likes. But one thing remains certain: the Nets want in on the 2014 Draft, particularly the first round.