The Nets 2018 unprotected first round pick. Like its predecessors from the 2014, 2016 and 2017 drafts, the pick has reached mythic status. Boston fans revered it, saw it as a sacred trust. Other teams fans wanted it with a passion. But Danny Ainge, the ruthless one, saw it as a tool and so when Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland, he offered it to the Cavaliers, who took it and clutched it to their bosom.
Now, it’s revered in Cleveland as the pick that could produce a superstar next June, perhaps one that could ultimately replace LeBron James should he move on ... again.
All of that of course is dependent on the Nets being as bad as they’ve been the last two years, the worst team in the NBA or close to it.
Not so fast, basketball gods. The Nets are 3-2 despite injuries to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell and scoring at a prodigious rate, 121.3 points per game, in those five games.
As LeBron James himself noted after Wednesday’s game, "It might not even be that good of a pick." His coach, Tyronn Lue feels the same way. “We're running around here worrying about getting the Brooklyn pick, they might want our pick."
Now, now, you might say, it’s too early to project where the Nets pick might fall. But Cavs fans were dreaming of Michael Porter Jr. or Luka Doncic or Marvin Bagley and now might have to settle for someone like Džanan Musa of Croatia. (Tankathon currently has the Nets pick at No. 20 where Musa currently sits.)
And Ainge? Don’t worry about him. He has the Lakers pick in June if it lands between No. 2 and 5. Plus his own.
- LeBron James: Brooklyn Nets' 2018 draft pick Cavaliers own 'might not even be that good' - Joe Vardon - Cleveland Plain-Dealer