It sounds like the old post-draft line, "we were stunned to see he was still available," but multiple sources tell NetsDaily that Markel Brown, taken by Brooklyn at No. 44 with the Minnesota pick, was No. 22 on the Nets internal mock draft. Moreover, say the same sources, the Nets mock had Xavier Thames going at the first pick in the second round, at No. 31, and Cory Jefferson, five picks later at No. 36. They, of course, were the final picks in the second round.
The 6'3" Brown was listed at No. 55 in the final Draft Express mock and at No. 40 in the NBADraft.net mock. Brown himself said he thought he could go anywhere from No. 15 to No. 35. Lenn Robbins, the Nets in-house beat writer wrote Friday that Brown had four dollar signs next to his name on the Nets draft board, meaning he was among "the most desired" picks. He added, "the Nets would get two of those players."
Why did the Nets internal mock draft differ so widely from the public mock drafts -- and those of teams who passed on the three players? One source suggested that the Nets placed a higher value on "character" issues and experience. All three played four years in college and graduated, providing them with both experience and discipline.
"We feel we got a No. 22 pick," said one source talking about Brown.
Also, the same sources say the Nets paid substantially less for their picks than teams did for picks near them in the Draft. While all three Nets picks cost a total of $1.9 million, including $1.1 million for the No. 44 pick, the Knicks paid $1.5 million for the No. 57 pick, which they used on Louis Labeyrie, a French center. The Lakers reportedly paid the Wizards even more for the No. 46 pick, taking Jordan Clarkson ... $1.8 million.