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Nets brass in Chicago for Combine as Draft preps continue

2017 NBA Draft Combine - Day Two Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Nets front office is in Chicago at the Pre-Draft Combine this week, checking out the top 60 prospects. Sean Marks, Kenny Atkinson, Trajan Langdon and Gregg Polinsky, etc. are all on hand, armed with clipboards, stop watches and various electronic devices. They will interview up to 20 players as well.

It’s all part of the process that starts, as Polinsky told a radio station in his native Alabama, with more than 600 prospects, 400 in the U.S., 200 overseas. Now, with a little more than a month before the NBA Draft, it’s time to start thinking priorities.

Back at the HSS Training Center, the Nets have now worked out around 25 players for this year’s draft, according to NetsDaily’s informal survey of social media. For the most part, the players are either likely to be undrafted or second round picks ... and some may drop out to preserve their college eligibility and return next year.

From our checks of social media (thanks @GNYR), the team appeared to start their workouts the first week of the month and have continued through last week.

Here’s our running list of those who’ve worked out in Brooklyn, been seen at other venues or are scheduled to come in. The number in parenthesis, where applicable, is their rank in the ESPN Top 100 Big Board.

Shamorie Ponds, 6’1” point guard, St. John’s, sophomore (61)

Barry Brown Jr, 6’3” shooting guard, Kansas State, junior

Chris Silva, 6’9” power forward, South Carolina, junior

Mustapha Heron, 6’5” shooting guard, Auburn, sophomore

P.J. Washington, 6’7” swingman, Kentucky, freshman

Reid Travis, 6’8” power forward, Stanford, junior

Jordan Caroline, 6’7” shooting guard, Nevada, junior

Matt Mobley, 6’3” shooting guard, St. Bonaventure, senior

Abudushalamu Abudurexiti, 6’10” small forward, Xingyang Long Lions, 22 years old

Nuni Omot, 6’9” small forward, Baylor, senior

Cody Martin, 6’7” swingman, Nevada, junior (88)

Admiral Schofield, 6’5” shooting guard, Tennessee, junior

Bruno Fernando, 6’10” center, Maryland, freshman (77)

Brian Bowen, 6’7” shooting guard, South Carolina, high school senior (96)

Anfernee Simons, 6’4” shooting guard, IMG Academy, high school senior (21)

Sagaba Konate, 6’8” power forward, West Virginia, sophomore (62)

Ky Bowman, 6’0” point guard, Boston College, sophomore

Jalen Hudson, 6’6” shooting guard, Florida, junior (45)

Deng Adel, 6’6” small forward, Louisville, junior

Omari Spellman, 6’9” power forward, Villanova, freshman (49)

Kendrick Nunn, 6’3” shooting guard, Oakland, senior

Joel Berry II, 6’0” point guard, North Carolina, senior

Matt Farrell, 6’1” point guard, Notre Dame, senior

Desi Rodriguez, 6’6” shooting guard, Seton Hall, senior

E.C. Matthews, 6’5” shooting guard, Rhode Island, senior

Dusan Ristic, 7’0” center, Arizona, senior

Lot of wings and as we’ve noted before, that’s no surprise. After the lottery, it’s mostly a draft of wings.

Typical of a Nets workout was one a week ago: We got the roster of the six prospects who traveled to HSS Training Center.

The group was compromised of two bigs, two wings and two guards. The biggest names were Barry Brown Jr. of Kansas State, a 6’3 guard who made All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Defensive Team last season, and Sagaba Konate, a 6’8” power forward from West Virginia who has garnered attention for his athleticism and shot blocking ability. He’s the only one of the six ranked in ESPN’s Top 100, checking in at No. 62. He’s also top 40 in the top 100. He’s yet to commit to the 2018 Draft.

Brown, a native of Saint Petersburg, Florida averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals, and is known for his defensive ability. Konate is an early draft entrant from West Virginia who rose 63 spots in’s most recent big board. He averaged 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Mountaineers.

The others are hoping to be taken with a (very) late pick, offered a summer league invitation or a job in the G-League.

—Nuni Omot, a senior arrived at Baylor from Indian Hills Community College. He spent two seasons at each institution, averaging 9.9 points and 3.7 rebounds as a senior at Quincy Acy’s alma mater. He’s seen as more of a small forward.

—E.C. Matthews is a redshirt senior from Rhode Island who averaged 14.8 points in 4 seasons (and one game in a fifth year) with the Rams of the Atlantic-10, and was the Most Outstanding Player from the 2017 A-10 Tournament.

—Dusan Ristic, an Arizona senior who came in and played with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in 2014-15, averaged 12.2 points and 6.9 rebounds last year. He has a bit of a shooting stroke hitting 14-of-30 from deep (47 percent) in his four years.

—Jordan Caroline averaged 17.7 points and 8.6 rebounds for Nevada last season, earned First-Team All-Mountain West honors this past year after helping the Wolf Pack reach the Sweet 16.

A normal workout sets out time for individual skill sets, interviews, drills and a scrimmage, in this case, 3-on-3. Afterwards, the Nets coaches will give each player feedback on how they did, where they can improve their game. Then, at the end, Sean Marks will typically address the group about the Nets plans, culture, etc.

How many more will be in? Last year, when the Nets also had three picks, they worked out around 60 players. In the past, the Nets have even brought in players the morning of the draft. It’s the value of playing in New York. Teams can bring a player back for a second session at any time.

And the big Chicago combine isn’t the last group session. Front office types will fly to Treviso on June 2 for the three-day NBA Elite International Camp, the European version of the NBA Draft Combine.