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Four years on, Nets draft cupboard no longer bare

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2019 NBA Draft Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Four years ago today might have been the low point for the Nets in their recent history (There were other low points in their earlier history.) The 2015-16 season had ended the night before with 21 wins and little hope beyond the recent hiring of Sean Marks. The coaching search was still underway. Senior staff had been let go unceremoniously that morning and to make matters even more uncertain, armed black-clad Russian intelligence officers had raided Mikhail Prokhorov’s headquarters that afternoon!

Oh yeah, if you had checked Nets draft cupboard that day, you would’ve found it empty. No draft picks going forward. Nada. Zip. They had to send their 2016 pick to the Celtics. They would have to swap picks with the Celtics in 2017, then give Boston their 2018 pick, the final payment in what many (including us) called the worst trade in NBA history. Moreover, the Nets had no second round picks of their own through 2021 either! They would have to swap their 2016 second with the Clippers that June.

As we wrote in a story that led the site that morning, Marks faced a long, hard summer.

Fast forward to today. We all know summers got easier and the Nets now have as good a roster, (when healthy) as any team in the league. Yes, they do need a new coach, but with their debts to the Celtics paid in full, the Nets now have a full cupboard of picks. They have first rounders —their own or someone else’s— in every draft going forward and at least one second rounder in each draft as well. In fact, they have three in 2021 and two in 2023.

Here’s the full list, per Pro Sports Transactions...

2020

76ers first rounder, lottery protected (acquired in 2019 swap of firsts with Clippers)

Nuggets second rounder ( acquired in 2018 Kenneth Faried salary dump)

2021

— Nets own first rounder

Hawks second rounder (acquired in 2019 Allen Crabbe-for-Taurean Prince salary dump)

Raptors second rounder (acquired in the 2018 Greg Monroe salary dump)

Suns second rounder, protected 31-35 (acquired in the 2018 Jared Dudley salary dump)

2022

— Nets own first rounder

— Nets own second rounder

2023

— Nets own first rounder

Pacers second rounder (acquired in 2016 Thaddeus Young for Caris LeVert trade)

— Swap of second rounders with the Hawks (part of the Jeremy Lin trade).

2024

— Nets own first rounder

— Nets own second rounder

2025

— Nets own first rounder

Warriors second rounder (acquired in 2019 D’Angelo Russell for Kevin Durant sign-and-trade)

2026

— Nets own first rounder

— Nets own second rounder

Teams cannot move picks more than seven years out.

Of course, the Nets have given up picks in several of those drafts mainly to garner cap space, including their own first round pick in 2020, dispatched to the Hawks in the Allen Crabbe trade; as well as seconds in 2020, used to compensate Philly in the 2014 Andrei Kirilenko salary dump; in 2021, part of the price tag in the Dwight Howard for Timofey Mozgov double salary dump; and in 2025, the final piece of the Jeremy Lin trade.

Two picks the Nets had hoped for — a top 20 protected first from the Warriors and a 31-55 protected second from the Blazers — won’t happen but bottom line is that Draft nights are getting easier just like the summers.