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For Draftniks, Brooklyn Nets took a risk, which for most is a good thing

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Draft grades are in and we know how early grades really matter.  (No, they don't. Been doing this for 10 years).

That said, here's what the draftniks -- pundits who specialize in the NBA Draft-- think about the Nets draft picks -- Caris LeVert, the Michigan combo guard at No.20, and Isaiah Whitehead, the Seton Hall combo guard at No. 42.  For the most part, the narrative is simple. Nets needed to take some risks and LeVert in particular was risk.  Only one writer from FOX Sports gave the Nets anything worse than a B-.  And there were scattered A's.

As Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report wrote, "This is a risky move. But Brooklyn is supposed to be taking chances." So here you go ... Where there was commentary, but no grades, we marked it NG.

Dan Devine, Yahoo! Sports (A)

Thaddeus Young is a smart veteran and good basketball player, but his absence on the 2016-17 Nets will cost the team wins in ways that won’t reflect in an improved lottery standing. It is worrying that Caris LaVert is far from a finished product, working with frightening foot woes. Still, when the crops are salted, you have to take a gamble on something that could eventually turn out savory.

Steve Kyler, Basketball Insiders (B-)

In the long-term, LaVert is a very interesting prospect with tremendous upside, if he can overcome the injuries. For grading purposes, this is pretty good value at 20, if LaVert overcomes the injuries, which all indications are he will. He does fill an immediate need and could end up starting for the Nets once he’s healthy. There were less risky options on the board, but LaVert does have the best upside.

Nabbing Isaiah Whitehead was great value. He can likely contribute right away, and given what’s on the roster now, he too could end up playing big minutes in Brooklyn. As for value, they did a great job and I’m not sure there was a better talent on the board. Plus, he can play a big role.

Jacob Stallard, NBADraft.net (B+)

One has to assess their draft on a bit of a curve. The Nets were an awful team that went into draft day with no first round pick. Dealing Thaddeus Young for the 20th pick made sense as the team needs to begin looking to the future, not clutching to a mediocre core. The only problem is losing now won't do them any good as their first round picks will be heading to Boston for the next few years. A daunting thought. They used the 20th pick on a guy with a lot of potential but injury question marks in Caris LeVert. The downside is an understandable fear about his history of leg and foot injuries.

In adding Isaiah Whitehead, they add an exciting and aggressive scoring guard who is a Brooklyn native. In what will still likely be a limited rebuilding team, the aggressive combo should have a good chance to stick. Both players will have to handle a lot of losing in the next few years, but find themselves in a good spot to fight for playing time.

Tom Ziller, SB Nation (A+)

Whoa! Sean Marks is already making moves! Strong effort to get into the draft. Brooklyn took Caris LeVert, who showed his Michigan pride by wearing an amazing maize and blue suit. Local pride is really commendable. As such, what a thrill that the Nets picked up Coney Island's own Isaiah Whitehead in the second round. The Brooklyn Nets are a model franchise in the changing NBA.

Chad Ford, ESPN (A-)

I'm a big LeVert fan. Had he not been stalled by injuries the past two seasons, he would've likely been a late lottery pick. Wings that can defend three positions, play the point and shoot the 3 are about as valuable as you can get. If he gets healthy, he will be able to show he was a very good value here.

Adam Sharp, Sports Illustrated (A)

AJ Neuharth-Keusch & Michael Singer, USA Today (B)

Analysis: LeVert is a highly talented, long, athletic guard with three-point range. The only problem? His health, as he was plagued by injuries in his junior and senior seasons at Michigan. He could be a steal for the Nets if he can remain on the court.

Aaron Torres, FOX Sports (C-)


LaVert is a first-round talent who couldn't stay healthy throughout his college career, and probably could have been acquired in the second round. Meanwhile Whitehead is a local legend who is staying at home to play in Brooklyn, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Josh Benjamin, Forbes (A)

LeVert missed much of the past two seasons due to injuries and has had three surgeries already, but his versatility as a guard who can slash and shoot makes him a great addition for a Nets team that is in full rebuild mode. He definitely has a lot of risk attached, but a potentially higher reward

Adam Formal, Bleacher Report (B+)

LeVert, if he stays healthy, is a premier talent. And with so few lottery picks and so little free-agent appeal throughout the foreseeable future, the Nets were the perfect team to take this gamble.

Essentially, trading Young for LeVert sounds bad in a vacuum, but Brooklyn has to accept risk. And it did.

Sam Vecenie, CBS Sports (B- for LeVert, A- for Whitehead)

This is a risky, risky pick for the Nets, but at No. 20 in a weak draft there are worse options. If LeVert is healthy enough to play, he's a first round value due to his shooting, length, and shot creation ability. If the foot injuries keep popping up, it's hard to see how he provides value. Tough to grade this one now, though.

It's a homecoming for the Brooklyn Nets, who bring Whitehead home. He's a scorer off the dribble and has good vision, he just needs to iron out some of his wildness and decision making.

Cody Williams, Fansided (NG)

the Brooklyn Nets are a special case in that the fact that they had a draft pick at all in the first round is a win for them. Sure, they had to give up Thaddeus Young to get that No. 20 overall pick, but that was the whole point of having Young at this point as he wasn’t going to be anything of consequence for Brooklyn moving forward as they were mired in losing seasons. So that they were able to trade into the first and take a solid guard that does a lot of things well (them addressing their biggest need) is a win.