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Draft Watch #1: It’s never too early and now Nets have a pick!

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 12 Duke at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now, we can talk about it.

Until Thursday at about 1:30 p.m., Brooklyn had no picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Now, they have one, a first rounder likely to be in the 20’s, the 76ers unprotected No. 1. Right now, it’s the 22nd pick (six places behind the Nets own pick now owned by the Rockets.)

The Nets, who had five picks last year, still only have one but based on how well they scouted the 2021 Draft, you’d have to think they’ll do just fine. (The absence of picks in the Draft didn’t stop the Nets from scouting. They knew things can change.)

So, as we always say, it’s never too early to talk about the Draft. And as long as the draftniks are compiling mocks, we’ll post what they’re thinking. In each case, we went with who the mocks think will be available at No. 22.

First, how good will this Draft be? Sam Vecenie of The Athletic says that the top, as per usual, is strong but where the Nets are skedded to pick, there will be questions...

The 2022 NBA Draft is not considered a particularly strong one at the moment by evaluators. The top of the class is solid, not spectacular. The middle of the lottery has an enormous number of questions. There is more uncertainty regarding players in the back half of the first round than I can remember in a draft.

The big problem, Vecenie explains, is COVID and scouting reports that lack depth.

Also, it should be noted the Nets have the option of moving the pick to 2023. No word yet on when they’ll have to make that decision.

So, here ya go. There’s no consensus. After all, the Nets only picked up the pick three days ago, but Nets fans would be well advised to watch some Duke games.

ESPN

22. Mark Williams, 7’0” center, Duke sophomore

NBADraft.net

22. Julian Strawther, 6’7” small forward, Gonzaga sophomore

The Athletic

22. Wendell Moore, 6’5” wing, Duke junior

Sports Illustrated

22. Trevor Keels, 6’4” guard, Duke freshman

Tankathon

22. Jeremy Sochan, 6’9” forward, Baylor freshman

Chad Ford Big Board

22. Tari Eason, 6’8” forward, LSU sophomore

Bleacher Report

22. Jean Montero, 6’3” point guard, Overtime Elite 19 years old

Yahoo! Sports

22. Alondes Williams, 6’5” combo guard, Wake Forest senior

Sporting News

22. Ousmane Dieng, NZ Breakers (NBL), France, 18 years old

Of course, it is a long, long time between now and the Draft, scheduled for June 23.

So, how’d the draftniks do last year with the Nets thinking? Pretty good. They predicted Brooklyn had interest in Cam Thomas, taken at No.27, and Day’Ron Sharpe, taken two spots later.