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DRAFT WATCH #3: With three picks likely...

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ACC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are in a bit of a tailspin and that’s good for the Nets. After believing they’d have two picks —one each in each round— the Nets front office is now planning for three picks: the Raptors first rounder and the Lakers second rounder, both acquired from Toronto in the DeMarre Carroll trade, and the Bucks second, acquired in the Tyler Zeller deal.

As of Thursday morning, the Nets have the 28th, 41st, and 43rd pick. It’s still possible the Bucks will make a run and their pick will move to the 2020 draft, and it’s (barely) possible the Pacers collapse, which would give the Nets a fourth pick. Increasingly those scenarios are unlikely ... and the Nets may very well have three picks. Things of course can change on Draft Night. A year ago, the Nets had two firsts and a deep second, and wound up giving up one of those firsts in the D’Angelo Russell trade.

All that said, we take a look at what the mock drafts are projecting for those three picks. (In some cases, the mock draft authors don’t realize the Nets could get the Bucks picks. In those situations, we’re substituting our knowledge for theirs and focusing on who they think will go at No. 43. If a site’s mock is less current than their Top 100 or Top 80 list, we go with the list.)

The mocks with projections on all three picks are listed first. Links are, for the most part, to the ESPN college database.

ESPN

28. Tyus Battle, 6’7” SG/SF, Syracuse, sophomore

41. Trevon Duval 6’3” PG, Duke, freshman

43. Rodions Kurucs, 6’9” SF/PF, FC Barcelona, 20 years old.

Tankathon

28. Khyri Thomas, 6’3” SG, Creighton, Junior

41. Keenan Evans, 6’2” PG, Texas Tech, Senior

43. Kenrich Williams, 6’7” SG, TCU, Senior

NBADraft.net

28. Austin Wiley, 6’11” C, Auburn, Sophomore

41. Aaron Holiday, 6’1” PG, UCLA, Junior

43. Kendall Stephens, 6’7” SG/SF, Nevada, Senior

Sports Illustrated

28. Bruce Brown, 6’5” SG, , Miami, Sophomore

41. Shake Milton, 6’6” PG/SG, SMU, Junior

43. Tony Carr, 6’5” PG, Penn State, Sophomore

Sporting News

28. Jontay Porter, 6’11” C/PF, Missouri, Freshman

41. Jevon Carter, 6’2”, PG, West Virginia, Senior

43. Killian Tillie, 6’11” PF, Gonzaga, Sophomore

CBS Sports

28. Daniel Gafford, 7’0”, C, Arkansas, Freshman

Basketball Insiders

28. Gary Trent Jr., SG, 6’6” Duke, Freshman

Bleacher Report

28. Bruce Brown, 6’5” SG, , Miami, Sophomore

Hoops Habit

28. De’Andre Hunter, SF, 6’7” Virginia Tech, Freshman

So only one player, Bruce Brown of Miami, a shooting guard (pictured), is projected by more than one mock draft. Does that mean anything? Hardly. At this point, the Nets themselves are just formulating who they like and where they might fall. They do think that the 2018 NBA Draft is deep, but very top heavy with a drop-off around 10 to 12. (The 2019 Draft, when the Nets will control their first round pick for the first time since 2013, is seen as weak, at least as of now. Wouldn’t ya just know it?!)

And looking back at the last two years, not one mock draft had either Caris LeVert or Jarrett Allen going to the Nets. The Nets credit their medical staff for providing them with a much more detailed —and ultimately more optimistic— assessment on LeVert than other teams. (It did help that the specialist who performed LeVert’s foot reconstruction surgery is the Nets orthopedist.) As for Allen, while mocks kept dropping him lower and lower, the Nets internal assessment held steady.

As for second rounders, a couple of mocks had Isaiah Whitehead, Brooklyn’s own, being picked by the Nets in 2016 and one had the Nets taking Aleksandar Vezenkov, the Bulgarian forward, in 2017.

Note as well that the Nets could add another pick on Draft Night, either via a trade or cash considerations. The Nets have $5.1 million to play with.