The Nets front office woke up this morning to the possibility that Brooklyn could have four —or even five— draft picks at the NBA Draft on June 22. They’re currently assured of three, but if the Pacers continues to struggle, their second rounder could wind up with the Nets.
As of Sunday morning, the Nets have two first round picks at Nos. 23 (the Wizards pick) and 27 (the Celtics pick) and are assured the No. 57 pick in the second round (another Celtics pick) as well. With Indiana currently out of the playoffs in a 3-7 dive over the last 10, they would have to surrender their second rounder, the No. 46 pick, to the Nets. And Brooklyn has $3.425 million in cash considerations to buy yet another pick — or use it to move up in the second round. None of the picks, of course, are their own.
Here’s a rundown of what picks the Nets have, how they acquired them and where they could fall...
Billy King agreed to swap first round picks this year as part of the Boston trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets in 2013. That pick is now at No. 27 and isn’t likely to go higher than 25. It could dip as well, but no lower than 28.
The Wizards pick was acquired at the deadline when Sean Marks sent Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough to Washington for the first rounder, Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton, who was cut. It is currently No. 23 after Washington’s recent woes ... two straight losses and a 5-5 record in the last 10. It’s unlikely to be higher than 22.
In the second round, the Nets own pick, at No. 31, goes to Atlanta. King was forced to give up this year’s second rounder back in 2012 as part of the Joe Johnson trade. The transaction was needed to satisfy a provision in the collective bargaining agreement.
The Pacers second rounder is part of last June’s Thaddeus Young trade. The Nets received the draft rights to Caris LeVert and a second rounder, protected 31 through 45. With the Pacers currently out of the playoffs, it’s No. 46. If the Pacers make the playoffs, the pick goes away for this year, but the conditions remain in place through 2022 or until the pick is transferred. In 2023, if the pick still hasn’t been transferred, the protections go away.
As part of the Boston swap, the Nets also get the Celtics second rounder this season. Right now, it’s No. 57 and could get as high as 57.
The Nets sent Houston $75,000 to acquire K.J. McDaniels at the deadline. The money is subtracted from the annual limits on cash considerations, money used to sweeten deals or buy draft picks. This season, NBA teams can’t spend more than $3.5 million — or receive more than $3.5 million — in cash considerations. Starting July 1, with the advent of the new CBA, that number goes up to $5 million. That $3.4 million isn’t likely to get them more than a mid second rounder in such a strong draft.
The Nets have spent more than $9 million to buy seven second round picks since Mikhail Prokhrov bought the team in 2010. In two of those deals, the Nets packaged cash with a lower second round pick. In fact, those two cash+pick transactions resulted in the best deals for the Nets: The Nets sent $3 million and their No. 55 pick last June to move up to No. 42, where they took Isaiah Whitehead. In 2011, they sent $1.3 million to Minnesota in a three way deal that got them the 31st pick, which they used on Bogdanovic. None of the other five picks are still in the league.
What might the Nets do if they have four or five picks? Marks has said it’s unlikely they will combine first rounders to move up, that it’s difficult “but you never know.”
They could certainly try to make deals combining draft picks, cash and/or other assets meaning players. And the one thing we think is most likely is the Nets will draft an international player or two to stock their stashed picks. Right now, they have only Juan Pablo Vaulet. Marks’ previous team stashed players from Manu Ginobili to Davis Bertans over the years before bringing them over.
One other issue to consider: the new CBA permits teams to do two-way D-League deals that, under certain circumstances, permits them to carry up to 17 players, 15 NBA players and two two-way players. Also, second rounders can sign D-League deals that permit NBA clubs to retain the players’ NBA rights for two years as long as they don’t call them up. The Knicks did that with Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis brother. Both of those provisions will add to the value of second rounders.
The NBA hasn’t announced the location of the Draft yet, but it’s been at the Nets home court since 2011, either the Prudential Center or the Barclays Center. So the Nets can be expected to have homecourt advantage.