The Nets seemingly fluid Draft process continues as they bring in more prospects for workouts. At the their training center in East Rutherford, the Nets had this week's first set of workouts Wednesday, headlined by Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas. Christmas, though, nearly didn't make the trip after some travel issues. Mike Mazzeo had the details:
Rakeem Christmas did not have an easy travel day to NJ yesterday. Had to stay overnight at a shady motel in Memphis.
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) June 10, 2015
When the cab driver dropped Christmas off at motel he told him, "Be careful over here." Eventually did make today's #Nets workout, though.— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) June 10, 2015
The Nets must like Christmas enough to wait and see him. He nearly missed the workout. As Devin Kharpertain of TheBrooklynGame notes, the Nets pushed their workout back 90 minutes in order for Christmas to show up. According to director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky, Christmas played quite well.
"I think his offense (can improve at the next level)," Polinsky said. "I think he is improved. If you look at him, again, what he did his first few years was minimal. What he did as a junior, you saw some defensive ability, shotblocking, but this year, they needed him to score the basketball more, and I think he produced for them."
With the Nets in need of some frontcourt depth, Christmas could be a rim protector to give spot minutes behind Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee. Christmas is likely a second-round pick—DraftExpress has him going at pick No. 38 right now—and the Nets could target him there. Christmas is a veteran leader, a senior who averaged nearly a double double for the Orangemen, making him a prime Billy King target ... at least if one were to look at recent history.
There weren't many more notes out of the workouts today, but there was a new set of Mock Drafts released by the draftniks. Again, they remain fluid, maybe even more than usual for this time of year.
First, Chris Mannix released his third mock draft Wednesday, and says that the Nets go with Louisville guard Terry Rozier. Mannix notes that Rozier's stock has risen of late, and that he could be a spark plug off the bench. Rozier averaged 17 points and three assists for the Cardinals this past season.
DraftExpress also has a new mock, having the Nets select Christian Wood of UNLV. Wood, a long forward with some range could be the ideal fit to backup Thaddeus Young, but may not be ready to contribute right now. Wood stands 6'11" and doesn't turn 20 until just before training camp but definitely has his flaws, namely on the defensive end. He is a raw prospect, but the Nets may need to go for a boom-or-bust prospect at this stage with what their roster yields. Developing talent could be a good way for the Nets to prepare for the future. With the Nets' second rounder, DX still sees them using it on Frenchmen Timothe Luwawu, who still has the best name in the Draft ... he stays in. He has five days to decide. There are reports out of France that if he doesn't believe he's going in the first round, he'll drop out and wait another year.
Though not a mock, Chad Ford released a new Big Board with analysis and information from front office executives. The Nets are connected to three players on Ford's board, Montrezl Harrell, Chris McCullough, and Terry Rozier. Ford mostly doesn't say much about the Nets—for Harrell, Ford writes that Brooklyn is a potential landing spot, and says similar things about Rozier—but does write something interesting about McCullough. Ford notes: "The Blazers at No. 23, the Spurs at No. 26 and the Nets at No. 29 are good options. In fact, I'm told there's almost no way he falls past Brooklyn at No. 29." The three of those go in order 27, 28, 29 on Ford's Big Board.
Lastly, Sam Vecenie of CBSSports.com released his latest mock, saying that the Nets take Wood's UNLV running mate Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn, a big guard, also deals with some defensive and maturity issues, but can put the ball in the bucket in a ton of different ways. If the Nets look to move Jarrett Jack, they can replace him with Vaughn at No. 29. As Vecenie writes, "Plus, he's young at only 18-years-old. He has a long way to develop, but this is the kind of home run the Nets might want to take given their lack of upcoming picks."
Draft night is a little more than two weeks away, but the Nets plans are still up in the air.
- 2015 NBA Mock Drafts - Sam Vecenie - CBSSports
- 2015 NBA Mock Draft - DraftExpress
- ESPN NBA Mock Draft - ESPN
- Despite travel troubles, Christmas works out for Nets - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Emmanuel Mudiay falls, Kristaps Porzingis rises - Chris Mannix - SI.com
- 2015 NBA Draft: Rakeem Christmas in play for Nets?
- Rakeem Christmas Works Out For Nets With Six More to Come; Talks Boeheim, Syracuse - Josh Newman - ZagsBlog