With the draft fast approaching, individual workouts are in full swing while the Nets are one of the only teams yet to bring in prospects for a private session ... at least according to published data.
Brooklyn remains without a pick in the draft, but Billy King said that the team is open to acquiring one without saying which round. King said that he isn't desperate to get into the draft, but if the opportunity presents itself with a player on the board that the team covets, he will pull the trigger. "They (other team's) may have guys they want to target and if a guy falls out of their range, then they may want to sell it or trade it. So there's a lot of conversations," King said Wednesday at a media session.
The Nets had their free agent mini-camp this past week as they look to find a gem that can come with them to Orlando for the Summer League, possibly making the roster if they need help at the end of the bench. It has been reported that two players from the workout are coming with Brooklyn to Orlando: former Detroit University forward Nick Minnerath and guard Michael Jenkins who has been on the European circuit since 2008. A third, Mantas Kalnietis, has apparently been invited --his agent says so-- but may not be able to make it because of insurance concerns. His Russian team apparently is unwilling to accept the liability.
The team has showed no signs they will bring in any draft prospects. The Knicks have reportedly brought in or are about to bring in several players. Patric Young, P.J Hariston, and Scottie Wilbekin have been publicly named over the past several days. The Knicks, like the Nets, do not own a pick in the upcoming draft, but are "desperately" trying to acquire a first rounder, according to one report.
The two teams from New York are not the only teams out of the draft ... as of now. The Pelicans, Warriors and Trail Blazers also are without a pick. The Nets did not have many draft workouts last seasons leading up to the draft where they took Mason Plumlee, so it doesn't seem like Billy King and the rest of the organization see the need to workout prospects even if they plan on acquiring a pick. They have a full scouting staff both in the US and overseas and a very sophisticated scouting database.
Who could the Nets try and inquire about a trade? The Sixers have seven picks in this draft, five of which come in the second-round, at Nos. 32, 38, 47, 52 and 54. Highly unlikely that Philly holds on to all five picks towards the back of the draft. The Suns have four picks, three in the first round, and they present an intriguing trade partner. The team is looking to contend now by landing a marquee player as soon as possible. However, the Nets don't have many impact players for sale right now that the Suns would be looking to take on. With two picks inside the top 20 and two more picks, the Suns can make a blockbuster deal later this month, it will be interesting if the Nets look to join in on another league-shifting move. After the second overall pick the first round, the Bucks have three second rounders at Nos. 31, 36 and 48. The Bucks can use some fresh faces from this draft, but they could also be willing to move one of those picks for the right price. The Nets have $2 million to offer for a pick.
Draft Sleeper of the Week: DeAndre Daniels, 6'8 SF, Connecticut
Daniels is riding a wave of momentum from a huge NCAA tournament run where he averaged 16 points while grabbing seven rebounds on 48% shooting from the field. He also showed a capable three-point shooting stroke, hitting on 37% of his tries. With Alan Anderson possibly leaving Brooklyn, the Nets can use a versatile wing that can shoot some from beyond the arc and provide some energy off the bench.
Due to Daniels' size, 6'8" with a 7'2" wingspan, he spent a fair amount of time at power forward where he proved that he can block shots, but when he was at his primary position of small forward, he defended well along the perimeter (especially in the NCAA tournament). With his quick feet and incredible length, he can make up ground after getting beat off the dribble
Daniels did get hot towards the end of the season, but overall he had a shaky season for the Huskies. Daniels was disengaged at times on the defensive end and gave up on plays too often. Daniels also is very frail. He is listed at 195 pounds, but with such a long frame, he looks even smaller. He doesn't deal well with contact at the rim and has a loose handle on the ball. He would be a spot-up threat in Brooklyn, but needs to develop some strength to become a slasher, the type of player the Nets utilize.
Daniels is an all-time inefficient passer. Daniels had 17 assists all season. Per Draft Express, his .6 assists per-40 minutes will be the lowest mark by a drafted prospect since Al Thornton in 2007. If Daniels does go to Brooklyn though, he will not be asked to create for others but play off the ball and be a threat from beyond the arc.
With added strength and ability to prove that his NCAA Tournament run was not a fluke, Daniels can become a steal in this deep draft. DX has Daniels going 46 to the Wizards in their latest mock. For a team that is considered "old," the Connecticut product can give the Nets the youth they have been longing for.
Here is Daniels' DraftExpress video scouting report:
With the draft process the sole focus for all but two teams now, more rumors will begin to leak out about promises and trades for prospects and teams. The Nets haven't been involved in any draft rumors yet, but the season is still young. You can take a look at my personal mock draft here and leave comments if you agree, disagree, and who you think the Nets should try and trade into the draft for.