In a bit of irony, a Nets win Saturday would hurt them ... in the second round of the 2016 Draft.
Back in 2012, the Nets traded for Reggie Evans, agreeing to a swap of picks in the second round of the 2016 Draft as compensation. The swap was protected: if LA had one of the NBA's top five records --and worst five draft picks-- the swap was off. Brooklyn retained their pick. But if the Clippers finished anywhere else in the standings and draft order, the Nets would have to swap picks. So the Nets want the Clippers to do well.
It ddn't seem like a big deal at the time and Evans played well for the Nets. Now, however, it likely means that the Nets will be giving up a high second rounder. The Clippers are disappointing at 13-10 and have a long way to go to get into that top five by April. The Nets right now would hold the 35th pick in the Draft ... without the swap. With the swap, the Nets would pick 50th and the Clippers 35th. (The lottery only affects first round order.)
How big of a deal is the loss of 15 spots? Most years, not that much, but a review of the picks taken between Nos. 35 and 50 since 2010 shows a few good players and one very good player taken in those spots: Nemanja Bjelica, Lance Stephenson, Chandler Parsons, Draymond Green (with the Nets pick in 2012), Ryan Kelly and two Nets, Markel Brown and Juan Pablo Vaulet. (Green was taken with the 35th pick, which the Nets had traded to the Warriors the year before with Troy Murphy for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.)