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So who are these guys? A look at the Nets’ D-League draft picks

NBA.com

Arden Franklyn is a big D-League fan. So he watched yesterday as the League tweeted out five rounds of picks to see who the Nets affiliate would take. Here’s his report.

The ever opinionated Bill Simmons once said,

“First impressions matter more in basketball than in any other sport, and they can be savored only in person. Players can't hide behind pads or helmets, so we can stare at them, evaluate every move they make: running, jumping, walking, even ogling the cheerleaders. We can see every ripple and tattoo. If they're lazy, we can tell”.

It would be hard to make the leap from that to the Long Island Nets’ first ever D-League draft, but the point is clear: They needed to take advantage of every pick and hope to hit on those guys. There’s no hiding. It’s all transparent in this new era for the Brooklyn Nets organization. D-League affiliate included.

Long Island’s first round pick in the 2016 Draft came at 14th Overall and it was a bit of a surprise, Boris Dallo, a 6’6” combo guard from France. Scouts consider Dallo as someone who has the potential to “impact both sides of the floor but lacks consistent scoring ability and can disappear for stretches”.

Indeed, if the 22-year-old wants to be successful in the D-League, let alone the NBA, his offensive game needs to make a jump in the right direction. He’s athletic and has a lot of the raw tools. If he can get to the basket with ease, and hit a J, then we might be working with something, perhaps a combo guard. He knows the game. He’s played professionally since he was 17.

Dallo is excited to join the Nets organization according to his agent Chris Patrick Jr. When responding to a tweet from NetsDaily, he stated how Dallo is indeed coming to the D-League and wanted to land in Brooklyn the entire time. Just after midnight New York time, just before dawn in his hometown of Nantes, Dallo tweeted this...

In the second and third rounds, Long Island again selected multi-dimensional and long players in Trahson Burrell and J.J. Moore, both 6’6” swingmen. Last season, Burrell played at the University of Memphis where he averaged 10 points per game and six rebounds while finishing top three in assists, blocks and steals for the Tigers.

When being interviewed by the Albany Times-Union, his hometown paper, in September, Burrell said “I consider myself more of a scoring kind of guy, but I hope to bring whatever. I'm working on every aspect of my game, trying to make it the best possible." Also interesting to note Burrell also took in a couple of NBA Draft workouts, including one with the Milwaukee Bucks.

J.J. Moore played three years at the University of Pittsburgh before transferring to Rutgers prior to the 2013-2014 season. In his last collegiate season, J.J. averaged slightly over 11 points while shooting 42 percent from the field. Since then, he’s played for AGOR in Greece. One cool aspect of the Moore selection: he’s from Brentwood, Long Island.

In Round #4, the Nets took a 6’9” big and again went international, going for Palpreet Singh Brar from India. One of that country’s first legitimate NBA prospects, he built some buzz for himself following his two-year training period at the Ludhiana Basketball Academy, India’s first true hoops academy, then recently building on that by working out at the New York Athletic Club, where he’s been the last several weeks.

After watching Singh Bar work out, NBA India’s senior director Carlos Barroca was impressed with his shooting, “Most big players like to get close to the rim before they go for the shot. Palpreet though is quite good at shooting from far. He also has a nice jump shot.” Here’s some video from NBA India on who he is, what he can do.

In terms of storylines for the Long Island Nets, the organization made some news with the pick. Singh Brar is the first Indian to be taken in the D-League Draft. His development will be worth watching closely, in part because a nation of 1.5 billion people will be watching as well.

The last pick was another local product. Long Island picked Austin Witter, a 6’8” forward from Princeton Junction, N.J. and North Carolina AT&T with the fifth pick. After a productive college career, Austin has taken on the role of basketball vagabond, playing in Colombia, Mongolia and the D-League. He was selected in the 2014 Draft by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. then after being released by them, went on to play for Reno Bighorns. Witter came to the Nets attention during an open workout at LIU-Post last month.

The Long Island Nets are expected to open training camp at HSS Training Center early this week. Expect a full roster to be released in the next couple of days.