Like almost all NBA teams, the Nets are stingy about information on who they’ve talked to at the NBA Pre--Draft Combine in Chicago, but there was some word on interest, provided by players and their agents.
Three of the players the Nets interviewed played in this year’s Final Four, two at Oregon, one at South Carolina.
Fresh off a strong NBA Combine, Oregon's Tyler Dorsey has NBA team workouts scheduled next week with Bucks, Knicks, Nets & Magic— Dinos Trigonis (@trigonis30) May 12, 2017
Nets interviewed Jordan Bell, 6'9" Oregon PF, at PreDraft Combine. Slated late first/early second, he's moving up https://t.co/RzhrGcc6XF— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) May 13, 2017
Nets one of 13 teams to interview Sindarius Thornwell of South Carolina, 6'5" SG. https://t.co/e0Q2sFicPi— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) May 13, 2017
All three, Dorsey, Bell and Thornwell are listed as second rounders in the latest Draft Express mock draft, filed by Jonathan Givony and crew Friday night, Jordan Bell at No. 42 and Thornwell and Dorsey right around the Nets No. 57 pick. Thornwell is at No. 55, Dorsey at 60.
Bell was one of the big winners at the combine. He ran the fastest three-quarter court sprint EVER, at 6’8.5”. His forte is defense and some see a Draymond Green comparison. In Friday’s 5-on-5 drill, he finished with 13 points, seven boards, five blocks and five assists. Brett Brelmaier, the Nets assistant coach, was Bell’s coach in that game.
His teammate, Dorsey, is a 6’4” shooting guard who shot 42 percent from deep this season with Oregon. He played well in the 5-on-5 as well, but is seen as someone who could go undrafted. NBA teams aren’t just scouting for picks, they are also scouting for the so-called “third round,” the phone calls that start right after the draft ends. Teams invite players to summer league, sometimes with guarantees.
Thornwell became a fan favorite during March Madness. He has NBA size for a shooting guard but hasn’t gotten out of the second round yet in the big mocks. He can shoot and plays well in the open court, but as Draft Express notes, he has only “average quickness.” Still, he has a high motor and plays well in big games.
Friday’s list brings to six the number of players who reports have linked to the Nets, either as players who’ve been invited to HSS Training Center for workouts or have been interviewed. The other three are Hamidou Diallo, Moritz Wagner and Tony Bradley. Neither the 6’5” Diallo nor the 6’11” Bradley have signed agents, but most draftniks expect them to do so this week. They have another 10 days to decide whether to stay in the Draft or stay home.
Eagle-eye GNYR on the ND board isolated an image of the Nets combine contingent watching one of the 5-on-5 games Friday afternoon.
You’ll have to save it and blow it up, but we think we see, from left to right on the sideline: Matt Riccardi, scout and assistant GM of the Long Island Nets; Sean Marks, GM; B.J. Johnson, coordinator of player evaluation; Ryan Gisriel, director of basketball administration; Gregg Polinsky, director of player personnel, essentially the team’s chief scout; and someone we can’t identify. In back of the basket, we again think we see Kenny Atkinson, head coach; Jacque Vaughn, lead assistant coach; Trajan Langdon, assistant GM; and Gianlucca Pascucci, director of global scouting. As noted, assistant coach Bret Brelmaier was coaching the game.
Yes, we are nerds. Damn proud of it, too!
Saturday could be a big day for a number of players. It’s medical evaluation day and for prospects like Harry Giles, the Duke big man with three knee surgeries, it could be the difference between high lottery and mid- to late first round. If you’re hoping he’ll slip, Chad Ford says forget it. “Talk of him sliding out of the lottery doesn't seem realistic unless he gets red-flagged during the Saturday medicals,” said Ford, who added if he’s fully cleared, he could go as high as No. 5. Those reports aren’t shared with teams till closer to the Draft and never shared with the public.
The latest Draft Express mock draft went up Friday night. In it, DX has the Nets taking Isaiah Hartenstein, the German 7-footer at No. 22; Anzejs Pasecniks, the Latvian 7-footer at No. 27 and Nigel Williams-Goss, the Gonzaga point guard, at No. 57. Despite his phenomenal measurements and a week of hype, Diallo moved up only one spot to No. 35.