With conference championships well underway and Selection Sunday a few days away, it’s time for our latest NBA Mock Draft round-up! We’ve written about the draft a few times, and truth be told, most of the scouting is already done. Great performances in March can be fool’s gold and poor performances can be exaggerated. Still, it’s the big stage, the closest thing to the pressure of the NBA.
Moreover, there are players who won’t be seen in the NCAA championships. The Nets two first round draft picks in the Sean Marks era didn’t play in the NCAA Tournament. Caris LeVert was hurt and Jarrett Allen played for a poor Texas team. Moreover, there are international players toiling away in national professional championships overseas.
As of Tuesday morning, the Nets have the 28th (Raptors) pick in the first round and the 41st (Lakers) and 44th (Bucks) pick in the second. The Nets own first rounder, traded to Boston five years ago, is now in the hands of the Cavaliers and their second, traded to Philadelphia four years ago, remains with the 76ers.
The Raptors and Lakers pick are likely to remain steady, with the Lakers pick possibly dropping. The Bucks pick is protected. Milwaukee will send their 2018 second-rounder to Brooklyn only if it falls between the 31st and 47th pick. Otherwise, it gets conveyed in 2020. At the time of the Tyler Zeller-Rashad Vaughn trade, the pick was 52nd. Now it’s 44th.
All that said, the last mock drafts prior to the NCAA tournament don’t offer much similarity when it comes to projecting who the Nets will pick.
There are some players who we notice keep popping in and out of the Nets slots. Hamidou Diallo, the 6’5” shooting guard out of Kentucky (and Queens) is the only player we found in two mocks this time, but in one, he’s projected at No. 28, the other No. 44. Chimezie Metu, the 6’11 center/power forward from USC, has been linked to Brooklyn, as is Shake Milton, the 6’6” combo guard out of SMU. Overseas, Rodions Kurucs of F.C. Barcelona, a 6’10” small forward, has often been mentioned as well.
The Mock Draft picture has also changed this season. Draft Express has been brought into ESPN and ESPN’s longtime Draft maven, Chad Ford, is gone from the scene. In going through the mocks, we will be providing the latest mocks since the previous round-up. Since we did our last round-up on February 18, we won’t be looking at any mocks posted prior to that.
Here’s the latest, starting with ESPN which has not updated its mock draft, but did update its Top 100 this week, and Tankathon, which updates its draft order and mock daily. Note not every mock goes two rounds deep.
ESPN Top 100
28. De’Anthony Melton, 6’3” PG/SG, USC, Sophomore
41. Josh Okogie, 6’4” SG, Georgia Tech, Sophomore
44. Hamidou Diallo, 6’5” SG, Kentucky, Freshman
28. Khyri Thomas, 6’3” SG, Creighton, Junior
41. Jevon Carter, 6’2” PG, West Virginia, Senior
44. Kenrich Williams, 6’7” SG, TCU, Senior
28. Austin Wiley, 6’11” C, Auburn, Sophomore
41. Aaron Holiday, 6’1” PG, UCLA, Jr.
28. Daniel Gafford, 7’0”, C, Arkansas Freshman
28. Hamidou Diallo, 6’5” SG, Kentucky, Freshman
28. Melvin Frazier, SG, 6’6”, Tulane, Junior
28. De’Andre Hunter, SF, 6’7” Virginia Tech, Freshman
28. Gary Trent Jr., SG, 6’6” Duke, Freshman
28. Chimezi Metu, C, 6’11”, USC, Junior
Looking back at the last two years, not one mock draft had either LeVert or Allen going to the Nets. 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 (ya never know) or cash considerations. The Nets have $5.1 million to play with.