In a podcast Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski talked with Bobby Marks about the Celtics-Cavaliers trade following news that Boston was giving up a second rounder to close the deal.
Woj noted the Nets 2018 first round pick was what attracted Cleveland to the deal, not Isaiah Thomas. But he suggested that if the Cavs or their fans think the pick is a guaranteed No. 1, they're likely to be disappointed.
"That Brooklyn pick, we can debate where it's going to be, debate where it's going to be," Woj told Marks. "They won't be the worst team in the east this year. They could be better than Chicago, they could be beter than Atlanta. The one thing you know is that that team is going to play hard. They're going to be in games. Kenny Atkinson showed that. I don't think that's an overall No. 1 or No. 2 pick."
On the other hand, said Woj, Nets fans shouldn't expect it to be anything other than a high lottery pick. The Cavaliers, he said, saw the Nets pick as better than a number of young players they were offered.
"It could turn out to be (top two.). It's still a high pick and the beauty of it is that it's better than anything else. When Cleveland looked around at young players. They couldn't get Josh Jackson from Phoenix. They couldn't get either of Denver's good young players, Gary Harris or Jamal Murray. He's very good but I'm not sure he's better than what's available, top two, three, four. In the end, that wasn't there for them and so no matter how they looked at this, because that's what they did value in this deal and because it speaks to their confidence level in being able to keep LeBron James."
For the Nets players, of course, it's a different proposition. They're unlikely to care much, if anything, about where the pick lands. Still, they still believe they'll be a lot better.