Can we say four picks?
The Brooklyn Nets currently have the 28th, 42nd and 44th picks in the June draft, but if a number of events conspire between now and the end of the regular season, they could, could, have a fourth, a second rounder also in the 40’s.
Hope could that be? Lets review.
—As we all know by now, the Nets acquired Toronto’s 2018 1st round pick and the “least favorable” of Orlando’s/LA Lakers’ second round picks in the “salary dump” trade of Demarre Carroll this past summer.
—Then, the Nets acquired a protected 2nd round pick from Milwaukee in the Zeller trade at the trade deadline. If the pick falls between the 31st and 47th slots, the pick will convey to the Nets in 2018. If the pick finishes 48th or lower, the Nets will get Milwaukee 2020 second rounder which is unprotected.
So where would the fourth come from? Bear with us.
There is still one pick floating around that can still convey to the Nets this season. On Draft Night 2016, the Nets traded Thad Young for the rights to the 20th pick (Caris Levert) of the 2016 draft ... and a protected 2nd round pick through 2023. The protections are pretty simple. If Indiana’s pick falls between the 31st and 44th slots, the second round pick will convey to the Nets. If the pick falls under these protections at any point through 2023, the Nets get Indiana’s 2nd round pick in 2023 no matter what. No protections.
Now, the Indiana Pacers have had a tremendous season so far. They traded away Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domontas Sabonis. Many pundits —and Pacer fans— slammed this trade stating that the Pacers got fleeced by the Thunder.
However, Oladipo put in the work this past offseason and he has rewarded the Pacers with an All-Star, perhaps even a Most Improved Player, season. Sabonis has been playing good basketball for them as well. The Pacers never do rebuilds. The Pacers do reboots. So it would seem that the Nets chances of getting that pick are minimal, right?
Not so fast.
The Pacers are currently in a brutal stretch of to finish the season. The Pacers play Washington, New Orleans, Clippers (twice), Miami, Golden State (twice), Denver and Toronto. All of these teams are vying for playoff positioning. They also play the likes of the Lakers who are no easy out of late, and tanking Sacramento and Charlotte twice as well.
On top of that, the Pacers are dealing with injuries to Turner and Sabonis. So, this something to watch as well.
Now here’s the interesting part: how can Indiana’s second round pick still be in play this season when they are the third seed and will make the playoffs?
The Pacers need to finish in the 44th slot. Whether they make the playoffs or not is immaterial. Second round draft slots are based solely on record. As of right now, the LA Clippers (ninth spot in the West) and Denver (tenth spot in the West) are out of the playoffs, but they have a better record than Milwaukee. As a result, the Bucks currently have the 44th pick of this upcoming draft which will convey to the Nets.
On the other hand, the Pacers are currently two games up on the Clippers and Nets. So, Brooklyn fans need to root for all top 10 West teams to finish with a better record than the Pacers. Got it?
Now, we return to the East. The Pacers are currently the third seed. So, Nets fans need to root for Washington, Philadelphia and Milwaukee to finish with a better record than the Pacers. And to be specific, Nets fans should want the Bucks to finish sixth and the Pacers to finish seventh. In this scenario, the Nets would get Lakers second round pick, the Pacers second round pick and the Bucks 2nd round pick, all bunched in the upper 40’s
Like we said, it’s a long shot and a lot has to go right for Sean Marks and company. But let’s say it happens. The Nets could keep all three and take players and give them non-guaranteed deals, letting them fight it out in summer league or training camp. They could use one or two on Euro-Stash, or they could package them to move up. How far? Who knows, but in a year when so many teams are going to above the tax threshold, maybe to the divide between the first and second rounds.
Of course, if the Bucks go off on a tear, the Nets could wind up with only the two picks from the Carroll deal. That’s why we advise: watch this space.