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Draft Grades: Nets get B’s and C’s for Dzanan Musa, Rodions Kurucs

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Brooklyn Nets

Draft grades are handled differently by different publications. Some grade at team’s overall draft, some individual picks, some only first rounders. That said, Nets grades for Dzanan Musa, taken at No. 29, and Rodions Kurucs, taken at No. 40 are basically B’s and C’s. The general assessment is that the two young Europeans will take some time to grow, but they’re value picks.

As Sean Marks said at Friday’s press conference, the Nets are happy. He didn’t assign a letter grade but he likes what he sees.

“As you all know the draft is as we would consider a success for us. We’re thrilled to have both these young men here. Part of our job is to find talent, develop talent, but more importantly to develop young men; so that’s going to be our jobs, from the front office from the performance staff from the coaching staff. Again, we’re thrilled and welcome these guys to our Nets family.”

How about draftniks? Here’s the latest, with the grades ... and how they’re computed.

YAHOO! SPORTS: B+

At 6-9 and still just 19 years old, No. 18 pick Dzanan Musa, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a sensational scorer who can fill it up in a hurry. He handles the ball well and plays with swag and pizazz. The Nets grabbed Latvia’s Rodions Kurucs in the second round. Kurucs can shoot and is fearless, but his thin frame needs some work.

CBS SPORTS: B+

Dzanan Musa was labeled a “Bosnian scoring machine” on the ESPN broadcast by Mike Schmitz. So I’m already all the way in. He’s a project for the Nets, but Brooklyn is in no hurry to win immediately, anyway.

USA TODAY: C-

Musa is a lengthy scorer with good range, but he’ll need to add significant bulk to compete on the defensive end.

THE RINGER: B

There’s a big drop-off after Doncic in this year’s international class, with Musa, the second European player to come off the board, going at no. 29. While there are concerns about his attitude and his shoot-first, -second, and -third mentality, his talent is too hard to pass up at this spot in the draft. The Nets have done a great job of being opportunistic over the past few years, as they got this pick for taking on DeMarre Carroll’s contract from the Raptors.

DRAFT EXPRESS/ESPN (NO GRADE)

The Nets add one of the better scorers in the draft in Dzanan Musa, a player who was projected significantly higher for much of the season but ended up slipping due to his insistence on coming to the NBA right away as opposed to being stashed.

Musa’s scoring instincts, youth and competitiveness make him a prospect worth investing in. He has put up points in bunches in every setting he’s played in at every level.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: B-

The Nets are making an interesting play here, and Musa is a talented scorer at just 18 years old who has lots of room to develop. He can really put the ball in the basket and will go to a place where he’ll be needed to score, which is a positive fit. The concerns stem from his defensive shortcomings. The Bosnian forward aims to come over to the NBA next season and will be an interesting experiment for Brooklyn.

BLEACHER REPORT: B+

Upside is the name of the game for the Brooklyn Nets, and they found some by taking Dzanan Musa with the penultimate pick of the opening round. The scoring sensation from Bosnia and Herzegovina is a strong on-ball scorer who can get buckets from all over the court, and he only fell into the Nets’ hands because of his chosen developmental path...

General manager Sean Marks has consistently tried to parlay his situation into more talent, usually by accepting unpalatable players in exchange for sweeteners. This is no different, even if the methodology varies.

Maybe Musa struggles against NBA defenders as a rookie and has to learn through a trial by fire. Where’s the harm in that for Brooklyn, so long as it doesn’t stunt his long-term development?

SB NATION: B+

A 6’9 shooter who plays with high swag level and can get hot in a hurry. A good value at this point.

SPORTING NEWS: B+ (MUSA); B (KURUCS)

Musa, the No. 23 prospect on our board, is a nice pickup for Brooklyn here. The 6-9 forward from Cedevita is an effective bucket getter whether knocking it down from outside or getting to the basket. He can pull up off the bounce from 3-point range, which is a plus for a player who can elevate over most defenders.

Musa’s desire is to come over to the NBA next season rather than be stashed overseas.

Another international prospect for Brooklyn. Kurucs is a 6-10 forward who has struggled to find consistent playing time at the highest levels in Europe for Barcelona.

The 20-year-old is a shotmaker who can create his own looks off the bounce. We’ll see if he can hold up defensively against NBA athletes or contribute in enough other ways that it won’t matter.

FANSIDED: C+

Picking at Nos. 29 and 40, the Brooklyn Nets weren’t about to turn their franchise around immediately in the 2018 NBA Draft. What’s more, they’re clearly looking to make some free agency noise, so the draft is minimally important to them at this point. Still, Dzanan Musa fell to them in the late first round and they nabbed Rodion Kurucs 11 picks later. Musa could be a sleeper in this class, but both could be depth pieces, albeit unexciting ones.

HASHTAG BASKETBALL: C+

The Nets have made it clear that they want long versatile wings on their roster. This is exactly what they got. Musa is an impressive scoring wing who can shoot from outside or finish with either hand at the rim. Kurucs is similar with his high-level ball handling and touch around the rim. Neither of these guys will have anything but a negative impact on defense though. Their fundamentals need a lot of work and they both often lose engagement. With that said, the Nets have tried to increase their pace and shoot as many threes as possible over the past few years. Both Musa and Kurucs will be able to help with that.

NJ.COM: B-

The Nets went all-in on taking fliers on international players. They could potentially stash both of them overseas for a season or two, though Musa is more likely to come over immediately. It was a low-risk, high-reward sort of night, which has been the Nets’ M.O. as general manager Sean Marks has tried to navigate the wasteland of assets Billy King left for him.

THE ATHLETIC (NO GRADE)

Musa fell down the board a bit as NBA teams preferred to stash him as opposed to bring him over immediately. However, Musa preferred to come to the NBA now. It’s a good value pick for the Nets, as I had Musa at No. 21 on my board. He’s a tremendous scorer for his age, averaging about 20 points per 36 minutes in the Adriatic League. As an offensive player, there’s a lot to like. Musa is a good driver, can shoot it from distance, and is an underrated playmaker for others.

It’s unclear who he’ll defend at the next level, and he plays in a hunched stance that makes it difficult for him to get the most out of his athleticism. That and worries about his ability to get separation give scouts a bit of pause about his transition to the next level. But his statistical projections are strong, and at 19 there’s plenty of time for him to develop. He also fits the well-spaced offense that Kenny Atkinson runs, and he could get minutes as a rookie. Great pick for the Nets.