After a flurry of Draft Night moves, the Nets roster has undergone quite a shakeup ... with seven new faces. Not all of them will make the Nets roster. It is after all a roster built to win now, but there’s more than a little potential here.
It all started after Brooklyn flipped Landry Shamet — who they received on a draft-night trade a year ago— to the Suns for Jevon Carter, a 6’ 1” guard out of West Virginia University.
After being moved by Phoenix, Carter will be playing for his third team in four seasons. Originally an early-second round selection by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018, he was moved a year later to the Suns and flourished in the preceding season. As the Suns took a big step into contention in 2020-21, Carter found himself largely out of the rotation behind Chris Paul and Cameron Payne.
Still, Carter is a high-upside player with promising defense and an intriguing 3-point shot, shooting 38 percent on his career — which should only improve in Brooklyn. He’ll have opportunities to earn minutes in a backcourt rotation mostly filled with unproved commodities (behind Kyrie Irving and James Harden of course) along with Spencer Dinwiddie’s likely departure.
Next up is Cameron Thomas, who the Nets selected with the 27th pick in the draft. Born in Japan, he attended LSU, where he scored 25+ points 16 times in the season. Thomas is yet another microwave scorer on this Nets roster, who projects to be a ball-handler and scorer off the bench.
His 3-point shooting percentage was on the lower side at only 32 percent, but his overall shooting projects when considering his impressive free throw shooting — 88 percent from the charity stripe. All in all, the Nets are adding another quality bucket-getter to a team full of them. At least they’ve got an identity.
Two picks later, the Nets would “focus” — as Woj would say — on Day’Ron Sharpe. Sharpe, a 6’11” big with potential at the 4 and 5, had been heavily mocked to Brooklyn in the weeks leading up to the draft, and was about as close to a lock as any prospect in the Sean Marks era.
By all accounts, Sharpe is your classic high-motor, high-energy rim-rolling center. Is that the best kind of archetype of playing to spend a first round pick on in the year 2021? We shall see. Nevertheless, Sharpe is sure to give the Nets a boost with his rebounding and active play around the rim. He was statistically, the NCAA’s leading offensive rebounder His passing touch should prove to be a welcomed addition. Although he took only two 3-pointers at North Carolina, the Nets believe he has potential.
As the second round rolled around, the Nets used their first of three selections in the bottom half of the draft on Pepperdine’s Kessler Edwards. Being a lanky forward with a 3+D chops, his fit on this Brooklyn roster is arguably more seamless than the club’s previous selections. Not only will he bring shot-blocking to the squad at the forward position, but he should be another prospect who can contribute as a defensive rebounder, ranking in the 86th percentile among wings in defensive rebounding in college.
Marcus Zegarowski was next up, being picked by Brooklyn with the 19th selection in the second round — and 49th overall. Zegarowski played his college ball at Creighton where he spent three years in the Big East. In his final season, Zegarowski averaged 15.8 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting from the field, as well as 4.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds. His signature skill is his three point shooting, as he’s shot over 42 percent from behind the arc in all three years of collegiate ball; 45 percent on catch-and-shoot and 41 percent on pull-ups. He’s also the brother of Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams.
To finish off the draft for Brooklyn, RaiQuan Gray was selected out of Florida State with the next-to-last pick. Gray is surely one of the most unorthodox players in the draft for his body type. Gray stands 6’8 and weighs in at 260 pounds. He fell in a lot of mocks after he registered 17 percent body fat at the Combine. Still, the Nets are impressed by his unique skills, swagger and “high basketball IQ”.
The Nets concluded the night by signing two undrafted players to the Nets Summer League team: David Duke Jr., a 6’5” undrafted combo guard out of Providence and Brandon Rachal 6’6” forward out of Tulsa. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.