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Nets select Noah Clowney, 6’10” Alabama big, at No. 21

Princeton v Creighton Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Noah Clowney, the 6’10” defensively oriented big out of Alabama, was selected by the Brooklyn Nets at No. 21, the first of two Nets picks in the first round. The pick was part of the package the Nets received in the deadline deal for Kevin Durant.

In its final mock draft just before the Draft, ESPN reported that the Nets were “especially high” on Clowney who has a 7’2” wingspan, adding that the team might even move up if necessary to get him at No. 21. But they didn’t need to. Last season at Alabama, he averaged 9.9 points and eight rebounds per game in 25 minutes a game.

Clowney can play both big positions who’s Jorrye Nixon called “sleek and mobile” and “what teams look for in modern day bigs/frontcourt guys and has the frame to add significant mass.”

In addition to his center skills, the 18-year-old showed some prowess in deep shooting, but was streaky. After shooting 5-of-12 in one game early in the season and 3-of-4 in another, he missed next 20 in the five-game span. But the Nets like the volume of 3-point attempts, saying it suggests a confidence.

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In talking to the media after his selection, Clowney had this to say about how he can help the Nets.

“Offensively I think I can bring a lot: spacing the floor, decision-making, a bunch of different things offensively,” he said. “Defensively is where I hang my hat. Guard multiple positions. We protect the rim. We do it all. From a mental standpoint, I do whatever I’m asked. I’m a good teammate, things like that.”

Clowney said that he had been in for a workout on Tuesday.

“I had a few teams in my head that I knew might want me,” said Clowney describing the workout. “I knew after my workout that I was pretty solidified that if I made it there to that pick, that they were going to get me.”

Although he said he wasn’t that familiar with the Nets roster, he noted that Nic Claxton comes from the same part of South Carolina.

“So the players I know, that I’ve watched the most are Nic Claxton because he’s from my area back home, very nearby,” said Clowney. “Then I like Mikal Bridges because of the role he played with the Suns and then to come here and step up. Kind of waited his turn.”

Clowney was not a highly ranked high school prospect The 99th-best recruit in the 247Sports rankings for 2022, the Roebuck, S.C. product didn’t have quite the hype as his teammate at Alabama, Brandon Miller who was the McDonald’s All-American and selected at No. 2.