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DRAFT WATCH #5: A week away from the big (virtual) night

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Washington v Arizona Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The NBA Draft is a WEEK away. For the first time since 2010, the Draft will not be held at the the Nets home venue. In 2011 and 2012, it was held at Prudential Center in Newark. Since then, it’s been at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. With COVID-19 raging, this year’s Draft will be virtual, run out of ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. You can tune in on November 18 at 7 p.m.

For the uninitiated, the Nets currently (and we emphasize currently) hold the No. 19 pick in the first round, originally Philly’s first, and the No. 55 in the second, originally Denver’s. Our skepticism is the result of what happened last year. In the weeks before the 2019 Draft, the Nets held the 17th, 27th and 31st picks. By the time Sean Marks left HSS that night, the Nets had picked at No. 31, Nicolas Claxton, and No. 56, Jaylen Hands.

That said, we’d be willing to bet (a small amount) that the Nets will wind up with a young player, a one-and-done who may have disappointed, players like Cole Anthony, the North Carolina point guard, Jaden McDaniels, the Washington small forward, Josh Green, the Arizona guard, and R.J. Hampton, the shooting guard who spent the year in Australia’s NBL.

Of the 16 mocks we reviewed, Hampton is the first round prospect most linked to the Nets, with three draftniks putting him at No. 19. McDaniels and Green linked to Brooklyn in two mocks.

In the second round, Markus Howard, the diminutive point guard out of Marquette, was twice linked to Brooklyn. Then, there’s the sentimental choice, Kenyon Martin Jr., who ESPN has long linked to the Nets at No. 55.

Might the Nets trade it? Sure. But for the moment, we’ll take a deep look at what the draftniks think, a lot of them. Some caveats: ESPN has two mocks, the traditional 1-through-60 and then a “perfect picks” list. We went with the traditional. Anthony is linked to the Nets on that list. On the “perfect picks” list, ESPN has McDaniels to Brooklyn. Some mocks only post first round picks. And of course, we don’t know anything about the most important mock, the internal one the Nets keep. That’s the one that matters.

ESPN

19. Cole Anthony, 6’3” PG, North Carolina, freshman.

55. Kenyon Martin Jr., 6’7” SF, IMG Academy, HS senior

NBADraft.net

19. R.J. Hampton, 6’6” SG, New Zealand Breakers, 19

55. Markus Howard, 5’11” PG, Marquette, senior

The Athletic

19. Tyrell Terry, 6’2” PG, Stanford, freshman

SB Nation

19. R.J. Hampton, 6’6” SG, New Zealand Breakers, 19

New York Post

19. Desmond Bane, 6’6”, SG, TCU, senior

USA Today

19. Theo Maledon, 6’4” PG, ASVEL, 19

Sports Illustrated

19. Aleksej Pokusevski, 7’0” F, Olympiacos, 18

55. Josh Hall, 6’9” SF, Moravian Prep HS senior, 20

The Ringer

19. Aaron Nesmith, 6’6” SG. Vanderbilt, sophomore

Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board

19. Jaden McDaniels, 6’10” SF, Washington, freshman

Bleacher Report

19. Josh Green, 6’6” SG, Arizona, freshman

Tankathon

19. Josh Green, 6’6”, SG, Arizona, freshman

55. Markus Howard, 5’11”, PG, Marquette, senior

CBS Sports

19. Jalen Smith, 6’10”, PF, Maryland, sophomore

55. Nate Hinton, 6’5” PG, Houston, sophomore

NBC Sports

19. Leandro Bolmaro, 6’7”, SG/SF, F.C. Barcelona, 20

Sporting News

19. Jaden McDaniels, 6’10” SF, Washington, freshman

Yahoo! Sports

19. Malachi Flynn, 6’1”, PG, San Diego State, junior

24/7 Sports

19. R.J. Hampton, 6’6” SG, New Zealand Breakers, 19