On Wednesday morning, Nets general manager Billy King made it clear that his top priority this offseason is to re-sign Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, but he also addressed questions about the draft.
First and foremost, the GM said he doesn't plan on shelling out future assets for short-term quick-fixes. Not that they really have any to offer, but still.
"I don't expect us to be trading any (of the team's future picks)," King said. "We've done that."
When asked what he’s looking to get out of this year's draft, King took a deep breath and bluntly said: "The best player."
The Nets are currently set to pick 29th and 41st.
"We’re not going to just target a position because we might miss on somebody else," King said. "And I will say that we’re trying to move up in the draft. We’ll explore options to get higher. … We already know of some teams who maybe want to move their pick so we’ll be talking to them next week."
King also went on to talk about different approaches to building a team than directly through the draft.
"I think there are ways to get around [the team’s lack of future draft picks]," King said. "I’ll use my own experience for example. In Philadelphia in 2005, we didn’t have a first-round pick, but we were able to come out of the draft with Kyle Korver and Willie Green. And the next year it was Lou Williams in the second round."
It was kind of a check-out-how-good-I-did-on-the-test-my-mom-stuck-on-the-fridge moment, but King's point was valid.
The general manager said that it’s on him and his staff to find pieces in the second round, even if they’re four-year college guys without much buzz, because prospects like that can become rotational players.
"It’s incumbent on us, when you don’t have those picks, to be creative and come up with others ways to do it," King said. "It’s a challenge, but it’s doable... [Not having picks] doesn’t mean you can’t add quality players to your roster."
King used the Houston Rockets as an example of a team built without much help from the draft, with James Harden coming through a trade, Dwight Howard coming through free agency and Josh Smith coming through waivers.
Harden was traded because Houston had amassed a hoard of picks, though, so that one might've missed the mark. King went on to use the Atlanta Hawks as a more appropriate example.
"There are different ways to build a roster," King said. "You just have to work at it a little bit."
With their next pick, after this season's, coming in 2019, King might have to do more than "a little bit" of work.