Woj, of course, broke the news:
The Brooklyn Nets will select Syracuse forward Chris McCullough with the No. 29 pick in the NBA Draft, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2015
Billy King and the Nets often rate their draft prospects by maturity and readiness for the NBA. Usually this includes juniors or seniors, likely Mason Plumlee and Markel Brown in the past two drafts. Both were seniors.
McCullough is an interesting choice. He played only 16 games in his Freshman year at Syracuse due to a torn ACL, which dropped his draft stock dramatically. No matter. Draft experts believe if he hadn't torn his ACL, he could've been a lottery pick. Most mocks, including Draft Express, had the Nets taking the Orange Freshman at 29. One reason: Chad Ford revealed after the Draft that McCullough had a promise from the Nets "months ago."
Here's what Yahoo! Sports had to say about Chris McCullough:
"One solution could be swinging for the fences with McCullough, who has the physical attributes and upside of a top-20 pick, but is a few years away from being able to contribute because of his lack of experience and the fact he's coming off a torn ACL. The most difficult thing to find in today's NBA is a power forward who can shoot 3s and block shots, and McCullough shows nice potential in those areas."
McCullogh has said he hopes to be ready for training camp, but has couched it.
“I should be able to play by November,” McCullough said. “[But] I’m not going to rush it. [If] I’m just waiting my time, that’s it.”
His agent has said he spoke with 18 teams and some suggested that he take the entire season off while others said when he's ready, they're ready to put him on the court. He did not say where the Nets fell along that spectrum.
The rehab is underway at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which is the Nets official hospital and where their team physician, Dr. Riley Williams III, works. The rehab was chronicled recently in a video where McCullough spoke as well about giving back to his Bronx community.
<iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DFm1ZT2unr4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
With Mirza Teletovic (potentially) on the outs, it'll be interesting to see if the Nets utilize McCullough in a similar way. He's a 6'10" Power Forward that can stretch the floor and defend at the NBA level. Not to mention, McCullough is from the Bronx..
It may take time, but he may be a perfect fit for Brooklyn. He will the first New Yorker to play for the Brooklyn Nets. As mentioned, he's a native of the Bronx and currently lives in Westchester.
Here he is in his own words...
On his injury:
"Right now I'm four and a half months out. I just started running maybe three weeks ago and I started jumping about three weeks ago, so it's coming along pretty good."
McCullough was asked if he'd be playing in November, full contact and everything:
"Yes. If I'm not 100 percent, then I'm not going to rush it."
Nets select Chris McCullough with the 29th pick. https://t.co/Lj881OV2mP
— Anthony Puccio (@APooch) June 26, 2015