We glance again, again, again, at 22 years of Nets Draft historical past. It’s an annual train and loads of it’s painful, if edifying. After all, the final six years have been way more nice than the years earlier than. One factor that hasn’t modified. There will likely be surprises Thursday night time. That’s what makes it a lot enjoyable.
Extra reminiscences, please.
The Tuesday earlier than the Draft, issues have been nonetheless a bit unsettled. The Nets had the twenty seventh choose and everybody believed they needed Day’Ron Sharpe out of North Carolina for that choose. However behind closed doorways, the Nets additionally had curiosity in Cam Thomas of LSU. So after Thomas was a last-minute addition to the Draft Inexperienced Room, they arrange an interview with him for Tuesday. They have been adequately impressed. By no means thoughts the crimson flags — that he can’t play protection, that he’s a ballhog, and many others. The child was a bucket.
So the interview turned the start line for a Draft Night time commerce. Monty Williams is an enormous Landry Shamet fan and the Clippers have been prepared to maneuver Jevon Carter and the twenty ninth choose, allowing the Nets to take Thomas and Sharpe.
There certainly had been rumors that the Nets need to transfer up and hypothesis that they needed to maneuver Landry Shamet to dump DeAndre Jordan’s contract. He was owed $19.7 million over the subsequent two and didn’t play a minute between Might 18 and season’s finish. That after all didn’t get finished until September.
Equally, Draft Night time was the start of Spencer Dinwiddie-to-Washington rumors. Quinton Mayo, who covers the Wizards for MGM Sports activities, reported that the Nets might develop into half of a bigger commerce, one which was then rumored to incorporate the Lakers sending Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma to Washington for the Wizards’ Russell Westbrook. In accordance with Mayo and Mike Mazzeo, Harrell and Kuzma would then be circled and despatched to the Nets as a part of a sign-and-trade that may dispatch Spencer Dinwiddie to Washington. That, too, needed to wait, however it occurred in a barely totally different type till August.
At that time in the course of the night time, beat writers and others thought Marks was finished or close to finished for the night time, regardless of having three second rounders, all of them acquired as a part of earlier trades. It didn’t appear attainable that Dealer Sean wouldn’t deal at the very least one or, extra possible, two of the three for one thing. However he fooled everybody by utilizing No. 44 on Kessler Edwards, No. 49 on Marcus Zegarowski and No. 59, the subsequent to final within the Draft, on RaiQuan Grey.
Additionally they known as David Duke Jr.’s agent earlier than the second spherical had even ended to specific curiosity in him becoming a member of the Nets, first as a participant on their Summer time League entry then probably as a two-way. Duke was considered one of two undrafted gamers they signed. The opposite, Brandon Rachal, is a 6’6” Swiss Military Knife sort who performed collegiate ball at Tulsa. In the end, he was signed on to Lengthy Island performed effectively there.
“When it bought to the mid-second spherical, I bought a name from my agent who gave me some situations with a number of groups and it was as much as me to determine,” Duke stated later. “Having religion in God, and actually believing in myself, I felt the state of affairs with Brooklyn was the most effective for me primarily based on my pre-draft expertise with them
So why all of the picks and signings? Did Marks, realizing he had few picks going ahead due to the James Harden commerce six months earlier, determine to take some possibilities. The strikes additionally indicated a brand new chapter in how the Nets use Lengthy Island. Along with having two-ways shuttle forwards and backwards to Brooklyn, the Nets had Zegarowski and Grey signal instantly with Lengthy Island, making them home stashes. The Nets maintain their rights however they’re paid lower than the two-ways and don’t rely in opposition to the cap or the roster.
There could have been one more reason why the Nets saved each picks. The marketplace for late second rounders was not very robust.
The Nets went into the Draft with two picks, Philly’s first rounder at No. 19 and the Nuggets second rounder at No. 55, the Nuggets second. However the Nets knew they might have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and an opportunity at an NBA title. So fairly than preserve the nineteenth choose, they went searching for fast assist, a defensive stopper, a shooter to again up Joe Harris. It was additionally an opportunity to do some housekeeping.
So, two days earlier than the Draft, the Nets agreed to a deal that may convey Brooklyn Bruce Brown, a 6’4” guard who had a popularity for stable protection within the Motor Metropolis. He was out there as a result of the Pistons couldn’t actually work out methods to use him on offense. He hadn’t labored out on the level and wasn’t a ok shooter from deep.
As initially constructed, the Nets despatched Dzanan Musa, their younger swingman and the Raptors 2021 second rounder, acquired in a 2019 wage dump. The Nets additionally agreed to ship money issues, reportedly $1.2 million, to the Pistons. Whole lot.
Then, sooner or later over the subsequent two days, the deal bought expanded, massive time. On Draft Night time, the Clippers joined within the deal. Principally, issues went like this: the Clippers obtained Luke Kennard and Justin Patton from the Pistons. The Pistons obtained Rodney McGruder and 4 second rounders from the Clippers. The Pistons obtained the nineteenth choose, Saddiq Bey, and the draft rights to Jaylen Fingers from the Nets. Together with Brown, Brooklyn obtained Landry Shamet from the Clippers plus a swap of picks deep within the second spherical that produced Reggie Perry. On this iteration, the money issues went from the Clippers to the Pistons.
When the tip of the second spherical of the Draft rolled round, the Nets went with Perry who that they had a lot greater — like within the first spherical — than most groups. Publish-draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN stated that certainly Perry had mid first spherical expertise, however there have been questions on his perspective.
Paul Eboua, who the Nets additionally favored within the second, wound up going undrafted, however they saved after the 6’8” Cameroonian-Italian. Miami in the end signed him however after they determined to chop him on the finish of Warmth coaching camp, the Nets claimed him off waived. He performed in Lengthy Island.
On June 1, three weeks earlier than the Draft, the Nets had three picks out of the primary 31: their very own at No. 17, the Nuggets at No. 27 and the Knicks at No. 31. By the point, Sean Marks and his troops went residence on Draft Night time, that they had two: the thirty first nd 56th. So what occurred?
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is what occurred. The Nets, believing strongly in early June that that they had a shot on the two superstars, began bailing on cap house. On June 6, they dumped Allen Crabbe’s contract for Taurean Prince and two of their very own firsts, the unprotected 2019 first and a lottery protected first in 2020. (Additionally they bought a Hawks second rounder in 2021). The transfer offered the Nets with added cap house totally free company as Prince made $15 million lower than Crabbe’s $18.5 million in 2019-20. As well as, by buying and selling the seventeenth choose, the Nets saved one other $2.9 million in rookie wage scale cash. The Hawks took Nickeil Alexander-Walker, then dealt him to the Pelicans.
Then, on Draft Night time, they made one other cap-clearing transfer. They traded the twenty seventh choose, acquired in a earlier wage dump with the Nuggets, to the Clippers in return for Philly’s first in 2020 and the Clippers 56th choose within the 2019 Draft. Multiple draftnik was stunned the Nets have been capable of get a future first and a second in that deal when everybody knew they have been seeking to remove wage. That transfer saved them one other $1.97 million in cap house and let the league know they have been severe about KD and Kyrie. The Clippers used the choose on Mfiondu Kabengele
When the time got here to make use of the Knicks choose at 31, they centered on Nicolas Claxton who of their inside mock was a mid-20’s choice. Marks had fielded numerous requires the choose, however Brooklyn favored Claxton. Then at 56, the Nets have been three gamers, however just one, Jaylen Fingers, agreed to be stashed.
By the tip of the night time, the Nets have been very near the $70 million they would want for KD and Kyrie. In the meantime, neither Alexander-Walker nor Kabengele set the world on fireplace. Between the 2 of them, they didn’t common 10 factors a recreation.
Everybody says it —these have been the fellows we REALLY needed— however Nets insiders insist that Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs have been the fellows they needed as they sat down at HSS Coaching Heart earlier than the Draft started. Certainly, the Nets had each excessive on their mock drafts, believing that Musa was price a lottery choose.
In two interviews with an Alabama radio station in April and Might, Nets then director of gamers personnel aka chief scout, Gregg Polinsky laid out the Nets scouting course of, beginning with a database of 600 gamers at the start of the season, whittling the quantity right down to a handful for Draft Night time. On reflection, Polinsky could have even hinted on the Nets curiosity in Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs.
“I can’t go into names, however I can discuss concerning the expertise there’s in Europe,” he instructed the Tide 102.9 in Tuscaloosa. “In my very own opinion … I believe there’s two lottery picks there, probably three, a man who will likely be taken within the first two or three or 4 gamers within the draft (little question referring to Luka Doncic) and one other child there,” his voice trailing off as if he realized he may need stated an excessive amount of.
Because the Draft dragged on, the Nets even thought of shifting as much as take Musa, however they didn’t must. He was there at No. 29. Though they didn’t have Kurucs within the lottery on their inside mock, that they had him within the first spherical. So as soon as Musa was secured at No. 29, they waited anxiously to see if Kurucs would final till No. 40 … and he did.
The Nets additionally had Theo Pinson on their mock drafts, someplace after Kurucs. Just like the others, they have been excessive on Pinson, greater than most. Every week earlier than the Draft, Brooklyn known as Pinson to say, when you’re not drafted, we’re nonetheless interested by you. Then, even earlier than the second spherical was over, they known as once more and bought a dedication from Pinson to affix the Nets summer time league crew. Pinson after all was later signed to a two-day deal, then at season’s finish was introduced as much as Brooklyn.
(The Nets had favored Hamidou Diallo at No. 45 as effectively, however his rights have been traded to Charlotte within the Dwight Howard deal. The Hornets moved him later that night time to OKC. Dangerous transfer for Charlotte.)
The weekend earlier than the Draft, the Nets thought their “transfomative” commerce with the Lakers was both useless or moribund. The deal proposed by the Nets was almost the identical as its closing type, aside from the inclusion of the Nets twenty seventh choose, which that they had acquired as the opposite aspect of the swap with Boston, a part of the notorious 2013 commerce. Brooklyn would obtain D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov and would ship Brook Lopez to L.A. The Nets didn’t need to give that up that twenty seventh choose. Within the meantime, the Nets started to discover different offers.
By Tuesday, Woj reported, the Nets and Hawks have been “deep in negotiations” that may have introduced Dwight Howard to Brooklyn with Brook Lopez, who had another yr on his deal than Howard, and virtually definitely a draft choose going the opposite method. However late Tuesday afternoon, the Nets relented and agreed to relinquish the twenty seventh choose (which two days later turned Kyle Kuzma). Accomplished deal. The Nets took Jarrett Allen and pronounced themselves comfortable. Allen, together with his athletic presents, was on the prime of the Nets checklist of prospects, however he dropped and dropped as rumors that he didn’t love the sport proliferated. Nets knew in any other case. Nonetheless, the Nets had their eye on two different bigs that night time, D.J. Wilson of Michigan, and Harry Giles of Duke, a robust bodily specimen, however usually troubled by accidents. Each are nonetheless free brokers.
Woe is us. The Nets entered the 2016 NBA Draft with one choose, the fifty fifth. Not solely had they misplaced their first spherical choose to Boston within the 2013 Draft Night time commerce of demise (see beneath when you dare), they needed to swap their second rounder with the Clippers, the fee L.A. demanded for Reggie Evans 4 years earlier. Nets followers have been wanting ahead (?) to a dreary night, however as new GM Sean Marks stated all the things adjustments on Draft Night time… and it did. After Kenny Atkinson had known as Thaddeus Younger “my man” at his introductory press convention a month earlier, and Younger stated he was already texting potential free brokers, Younger seemed to be off-limits. Not so.
On the morning of the Draft, Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Nets and Pacers have been in talks to swap Younger for the twentieth choose, which led to a day-long hypothesis as to who the Nets would take. Nobody thought the choose can be Caris LeVert. NO one! Then shock and largely disappointment. LeVert wasn’t on any draftnik’s mock draft as a primary rounder. The very best anybody had him was No. 38. Three foot surgical procedures will do this to you. However Marks had spoken on multiple event with the Nets foot/ankle specialist, Dr. Martin O’Malley. O’Malley was trusted by the Nets and he had reconstructed LeVert’s foot. That was sufficient. The Nets had him at No. 11 on their mock, the one mock that mattered.
There was one thing else. Marks had been the closely engaged in making ready the Spurs’ mock draft. San Antonio had the twenty ninth choose and LeVert was on the Spurs’ brief checklist. So to ensure that the Nets didn’t lose out, Marks traded for a choose 9 locations forward of his outdated crew. San Antonio took Dejounte Murray. Then, it was on to the second spherical and the Nets pulled off one other shock. They despatched $3 million in Mikhail Prokhorov’s money and the fifty fifth choose to Utah so they may transfer as much as No. 42 and take Isaiah Whitehead, who most draftniks thought wouldn’t go till the fifties. However once more, to the Nets, Whitehead was a primary spherical expertise. That they had him at No. 18 on the inner mock and gave him first spherical cash. Better part: LeVert had penned a word to GM’s on Gamers Tribune the day earlier than the draft, saying “I’m virtually there. What I can’t wait to indicate the world once I make my NBA debut is a participant who can deal with, shoot, go arduous to the ring, and defend.” And naturally, he did. So did Whitehead. Each completed within the prime 10 of the 2016 draft class in scoring. (The Nets additionally signed one other prime 10 scorer in Yogi Ferrell, however you understand that story.)
A catastrophe. Billy King’s final draft at GM. The Nets went into the Draft with a primary spherical choose, at No. 29, the results of a secret swap with the Hawks who bought the No. 15. Within the second spherical, that they had one choose, at No. 41. There have been rumors, roundly denied by the entrance workplace, that he Nets have been additionally buying Bojan Bogdanovic. Nothing occurred. The No. 29 choose, it had appeared for weeks, was destined for Chris McCullough, the 6’10” Syracuse ahead with, it was stated, lottery-level expertise however a nasty knee. He additionally had a nasty perspective. At one level, all 5 massive mock drafts had the Bronx native turning into the Nets first New York Metropolis child. There was a motive. It turned out that McCullough had what was described as a “comfortable promise” for months. Barring the unexpected, if he was there, on the subsequent to final choose within the first spherical, Brooklyn had agreed to take him. The Nets had met with him, scoured the tapes and scouted him earlier than his January knee harm and in highschool all-star video games. They favored him. However in addition they needed to maneuver up that night time and take … some extent guard. The Nets realllly favored Cameron Payne and have been in discussions with the Hawks a couple of deal, centered on Mason Plumlee, that may have delivered the No. 15 choose to Brooklyn IF Payne was nonetheless out there. No cube. The Thunder chosen Payne at No. 14 and it was once more thanks, however no thanks.
Billy King had one other deal within the works as effectively, one which labored. The Nets additionally favored Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and supplied Plumlee and the forty first choose. They have been additionally prepared to tackle Steve Blake’s contract, which Portland demanded as a part of the deal. and the commerce bought finished. Though RHJ turned a crew favourite, Plumlee has had a greater profession and the forty first choose became Pat Connaughton, who’s now a stable bench piece for the Bucks. Within the second spherical, the Nets have been excessive on 19-year-old Argentine Juan Pablo Vaulet, with multiple government referring to him as “the subsequent Manu!” when describing his skillset. At one level, they even thought of utilizing the No. 29 choose on him! As an alternative, they known as Charlotte and pried the thirty ninth choose away from the Hornets with a proposal of two future second rounders, in 2018 and 2020, plus $880,000 in money. It left loads of pundits scratching their heads (even in Argentina). Appeared like so much for a child who hadn’t performed outdoors Argentina. The one competitors for JPV was supposedly the Spurs (the “Manu” factor), who had handed on him at No. 26, however who is aware of, may take him at No. 55. For his half, Manu Ginobili did congratulate each JPV and the Nets.
At across the similar time, the Grizzlies made a proposal that may have modified the make-up of the Nets: they needed Joe Johnson and supplied two expiring offers, these of Jeff Inexperienced and Courtney Lee in addition to Tony Allen, whose finest years are behind him. Brooklyn reportedly needed a choose —and Lionel Hollins was not an enormous fan of Inexperienced’s recreation. Talks have been placed on maintain … and by no means revived.
The Nets entered the Draft with no picks in both spherical. Their first rounder had been traded to Boston the yr earlier than and their second rounder had been dealt lengthy earlier than, for Bojan Bogdanovic within the 2011 Draft. However lo and behold, the Nets wound up the night with three picks, the Nos. 44, 59 and 60 picks. The Nets favored Markel Brown. On their inside mock, that they had him at No. 22. Why so excessive, in comparison with different groups? The Nets valued maturity and character a lot greater than different groups, favored four-year seniors from massive packages. So at No. 44, they went to Minnesota, who sarcastically sufficient, had the Nets outdated choose, the one traded for Bogie three years earlier. The value was $1.1 million. Accomplished deal and everybody thought “finished for the night.”
Nope. In accordance with somebody within the Draft Struggle Room that night time, Dmitry Razumov advised that Billy King get on the cellphone and name the groups that held the final two picks within the Draft, the Raptors who held No. 59 and the Sixers who held No. 60. The Nets had $900,000 they may spend. They favored Xavier Thames out of San Diego State, a 6’3” combo guard, and Cory Jefferson, a 6’9” ahead out of Baylor. Internally, that they had each excessive within the second spherical. Each have been four-year seniors. King suggested that the Nets didn’t should spend the cash. The Nets might merely name them as soon as the draft ended and supply them spots in the summertime league. Razumov needed their rights and since he managed the purse strings, the Nets supplied Toronto $500,000 and Philly $300,000. Accomplished and finished. And the crew with no picks wound up with three, two of whom made the roster, with considered one of them, Brown, beginning 29 video games. He later was exiled to Russia.
It seemed like a plain vanilla Draft Day, with no rumors of something impending. Nevertheless it turned out to be an important Draft Day in franchise historical past, at the very least since 2001 when Thorn bought Colangelo to shake fingers on the Kidd deal within the afternoon, then drafted Richard Jefferson and Jason Collins that night time. However by way of penalties, it was as dangerous—or worse— because the 2001 Draft Night time was good. It was franchise-changing however not in the best way the 2001 Draft was. Right here ya go, blow-by-blow. By the point Draft Day 2013 dawned, the Nets and Celtics had an settlement in precept to ship Paul Pierce to the Nets for Kris Humphries and the Nets 2016 choose. That’s when King and Dmitry Razumov bought grasping and made a play for Kevin Garnett. As the remainder of the league sorted out scouting experiences for the worst draft in reminiscence, King and Danny Ainge saved speaking to one another.
Right here’s how King described the early course of…
”Danny and I began speaking forwards and backwards. Then, Bobby Marks and their assistant GM wre speaking again and we have been actually centered on Paul Pierce. I believe as we bought near a deal for Paul, we stated, just about, ‘We’ll do that.’ So I stated, ‘What about Garnett?’ Danny stated, ‘Nah, I don’t assume there’s something in your roster that may do it.’ So, I saved throwing issues at him and saved including after which I assume it was Draft day, the night time earlier than the Draft, I just about know that there’s a deal there. So, we bought to determine can we need to do that. Spoke with possession and we agreed and I known as Danny and stated, ‘We’re in’.”
In the meantime in Boston, proprietor Wyc Grousbeck described it in another way.
“As I recall — and Danny could bear in mind barely in another way — however as I recall, he got here to me with that deal on draft day [in 2013] and stated, ‘We’re going to get two first-round picks from Brooklyn for [Garnett, Pierce, Terry, and D.J White], and tackle some contracts.’ And I stated, ‘OK, are [the picks] unprotected?’ And he stated, ‘Sure, in actual fact, they’re.’ I stated, ‘Nice. Let’s go get a 3rd choose.’ And he goes, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa,’ however, ‘All proper, I’ll ask.’ And he’s not afraid to ask, he wasn’t pushing again. However he went and requested, and he stated, ‘Unbelievable. We bought a 3rd choose. That is nice.’ And I stated, ‘Nice. Go get a fourth choose. I believe these guys have deal fever — we’re going to maintain going till they are saying no. I believe they’ve been instructed by possession to get the deal finished, so let’s return.’ And Danny type of gave me a glance, like I don’t need to lose the deal by pushing too arduous. Usually we attempt to play down the center of the highway with individuals, [but] I stated, ‘Go push aggressively for a fourth choose.’
King couldn’t commerce any extra picks, however he might comply with swap another and he did, the choose that became Jayson Tatum. Feeling woozy but?
The truth is, in line with contributors, the primary iteration of the deal had Nets giving up two extra first spherical picks, in 2014 and 2018, plus Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans and Toko Shengelia for Garnett. Ainge needed the Nets to tackle Jason Terry or Courtney Lee. Lee had another yr on his deal so Terry was added to the combination. To make the deal work underneath the CBA, the Celtics agreed to take Keith Bogans in a sign-and-trade with a beginning wage of $5.2 million. By accepting Bogans in an S&T, the Celtics sentenced themselves to a tough cap. Extra wrangling ensued. The Nets wanted another settlement to get all of it finished: Garnett must waive his no-trade clause. Kidd and Deron Williams have been enlisted to text-bomb KG. The Nets agreed to pay his full wage in 2014-15. In the meantime, the Nets have been pursuing one other deal: Brooks and Reggie Evans for Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour, an expiring contract, and the Timberwolves’ twenty sixth choose in that night time’s draft. The T-Wolves need the Nets to take J.J. Barea, who has an added yr on his contract. No deal. Just a little earlier than 10 p.m. by about choose No. 17 or 18, the efforts to persuade KG lastly bore fruit. Garnett agreed to affix the Nets, however the deal wasn’t fairly finished. Shengelia was changed by Kris Joseph who has a non-guaranteed contract. In the end, within the early morning hours, Evans was changed by Brooks, who badly needed out of Brooklyn. Who might blame him! At some later level, D.J. White develop into a Web. The Nets’ determination to dump Brooks was primarily based largely on their incapability to get worth for him in that night time’s draft. Additionally, Evans is valued by Garnett, with whom he shares an agent. Within the midst of all this, the Nets choose Mason Plumlee at No. 22, regardless that they’ve Kevin Garnett in addition to Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche up entrance (at that time within the night, Evans was nonetheless within the deal.) One different footnote: The Nets’ Russian possession was tremendously disillusioned when the Cavaliers took Sergei Karasev at No. 19 and needed to see if Cleveland would do a deal, maybe in trade for Plumlee and Bojan Bogdanovic’s draft rights. Cleveland wasn’t . Whew.
If you wish to learn extra concerning the 2013 commerce, you’re a masochist, however we’ll abide your weirdness and level you to tour Mr. Bondy’s Chamber of Horrors.
The Nets additionally thought of Allen Crabbe. Crabbe, in actual fact, instructed YES Community in 2018 that he had “heard” he was going to the Nets. He lasted till No. 31 when the Blazers took him.
The Nets had traded away their first spherical choose, their first because the Brooklyn Nets, to Portland, within the Gerald Wallace deal three months earlier on the commerce deadline. After studying that they had struck out with Dwight Howard that morning, they wanted a veteran to encourage Deron Williams to stick with the crew in free company. In order that they spoke with the Portland entrance workplace. Ben Falk was the Basketball Analytics Supervisor with the Blazers on the time. Six years later, he wrote about how the Nets blew it for Cleaning the Glass, his web site. Falk advised that Blazers officers thought that they had put one over on Billy King. The Nets have been prepared to commerce their first rounder —and put minimal protections on the choose— in retrn for Wallace. The Blazers entrance workplace was shocked, Falk recalled. “After some back-and-forth with New Jersey it turned clear that they weren’t too involved with defending the choose outdoors the highest three, however felt strongly about not going any decrease than that.” The deal was seen as so lopsided that Falk stated the Blazers held their breath because the hours ticked right down to the commerce deadline. No want. Accomplished deal. If that they had saved the choose, the general No. 6, that they had hoped to take Thomas Robinson however he went to the Kings at No. 5. Additionally they favored Ty Zeller and Jon Henson. As an alternative, they watched because the Path Blazers took the longer term rookie of the yr, Damian Lillard. Unusually, they didn’t thoughts.
Would the Nets taken Lillard? No. A Nets government offered NetsDaily with a listing of six prospects the Nets may need taken at No. 6. Lillard wasn’t on it, Perry Jones III was. Natch. As the primary spherical wore on on the Prudential Heart, the Nets made inquiries a couple of first rounder. There have been some out there, however the groups needed money and a future first spherical choose. The Nets weren’t , primarily as a result of two days earlier, Danny Ferry and Billy King started speaking a couple of commerce that may ship a choose to Atlanta within the Joe Johnson deal. Additionally, the Dwightmare hadn’t run its course (or so we thought!), so that they needed to hold on to their very own picks.
Within the second spherical, they didn’t have their very own choose. They traded it a yr earlier to the Warriors who took some man named Draymond Inexperienced. In order that they purchased two picks. At No. 41, they took Tyshawn Taylor, utilizing a Path Blazer choose that they had purchased for $2 million. The Nets had Taylor going within the first spherical. Sixteen picks later, they purchased the rights to Toko Shengelia for $750,000. Then, with a choose left over the 2010 Chris Quinn – Rafer Alston deal, they took Ilkan Karaman of Turkey. They thought of others, like Maalik Wayns and Scott Machado, however went with the suggestions of Danko Cvjeticanin, their worldwide scout, as an alternative. The Nets might have had another choose, within the second spherical, the Lakers choose at No. 60. As a part of the Sasha Vujacic – Terrence Williams deal in 2010, the Nets had an choice to purchase the choose for $250,000 so long as L.A. agreed. L.A. didn’t agree and saved the choose, taking Robert Sacre.
That they had began out with three picks, however they traded their very own choose to Utah within the Deron Williams deal and it rose to No. 3 within the Lottery and have become Enes Kanter. So what. That they had Deron Williams. They did have the No. 27 choose, obtained from the Lakers within the Sasha Vujacic – Terrence Williams deal, and their very own second spherical choose at No. 36. They favored MarShon Brooks, with some within the battle room believing nobody on the board had as a lot upside as Brooks. They didn’t assume he would fall, however that they had finished their homework on him. No exercises however that they had investigated experiences that he was, in Ryen Rusillo’s phrases, “a nasty child.” They discovered nothing. Because the Draft proceeded, Brooks started to drop. He had been penciled for the Pacers simply after the Lottery, however then San Antonio supplied Indiana George Hill, an area child, for the choose so they may take Kawhi Leonard. The Pacers agreed. The Knicks favored Brooks, too, however favored Iman Shumpert much more. Within the stands, Brooks started to get nervous. His knees knocked. He feared doing to the draft would wind up an enormous embarrassment, instructed his mom so. In the meantime, King was watching and getting nervous. He favored Brooks and Bojan Bogdanovic.
Lastly, at No. 25, King didn’t need to wait any longer. He supplied Danny Ainge the No. 27 choose and the Nets’ 2013 second spherical choose in trade for Boston’s choose at No. 25. He feared that somebody, possibly Dallas, possibly another person who might have acquired Dallas’ choose, would swoop in and steal Brooks. He additionally had an opportunity to get each Brooks and Bogdanovic. Ainge agreed…Boston favored JaJuan Johnson anyway…and the deal was finished. King then moved on to Bogdanovic. Nets personnel had fallen in love with the Croatian the weekend earlier than when he got here in for a exercise. His solely draw back was a three-year deal he had (inexplicably) signed with Fenerbahce that very same week. Miami had the primary choose within the second spherical however they too needed somebody greater. The Nets, Warmth and Timberwolves did a sophisticated deal. The Timberwolves swapped their choose at No. 28 and money to the Warmth for Miami’s choose at No. 31. The Warmth took Norris Cole, their prize. The Nets then acquired the No. 31 choose from Minnesota for a reported $1.25 million and the Nets second spherical choose in 2014. They took Bogdanovic. 5 picks later, they took Jordan Williams, passing on Chandler Parsons who they did contemplate however needed Williams for his rebounding. Williams was later arrested for kidnapping, theft and assault of a juvenile male. Oh effectively, the second spherical is a crap shoot.
From the lottery on, everybody sorta knew the Nets have been going to take Derrick Favors at No. 3, the youngest participant chosen within the Draft since Kevin Durant in 2007. However what most didn’t know was that earlier than the draft, the Pacers, on the lookout for some extent guard and an influence ahead after a 32-win season, supplied the Nets Danny Granger and the #10 choose (which became Paul George) for Favors and Devin Harris. The Nets stated no. The one thriller after that was who would the Nets take at No. 27 (the Dallas choose from the Jason Kidd commerce) and No. 31 (the Nets’ personal choose). Going into the draft, Rod Thorn stated he had 5 provides for No. 27 and three for No. 31. The Nets had their eye on two gamers: Craig Brackins, the 6’10” combo ahead out of Iowa State, and Eric Bledsoe, John Wall’s again up at Kentucky. However issues didn’t work out that method. Bledsoe was passed by No. 18 and Brackins at No. 21. So the Nets went to Plan B. Damion James had been listed as excessive as No. 12 in one of many closing mock drafts and most had him going within the teenagers, however the Texas senior dropped. So the Nets known as Atlanta and supplied the No. 27 choose and No. 31 choose for the No. 24. As followers watched unaware, the Hawks took James for the Nets. By the point No. 27 had rolled round and the Hawks took Jordan Crawford, information of the commerce had leaked out. The Hawks then circled and bought the No. 31 choose to the Thunder for “money issues”, $3.1 million, probably the most ever for a second spherical choose. They then had the Nets take a participant, German 7-footer Tibor Pleiss, for them. And the deal was finished.
Within the second spherical, the Nets reportedly mentioned shopping for a choose to take Lance Stephenson, however Stephenson’s checkered (to be type) historical past at Lincoln Excessive College dissuaded them. Additionally within the combine for that bought choose: Brian Zoubek and Ben Uzoh. They didn’t have to purchase a choose for both. Each went undrafted and have been signed to partially-guaranteed offers: $50,000 for. Zoubek, who troubled by a nasty again, retired from the game; $35,000 to Uzoh who made the crew. Oh yeah, a child from Glen Falls, NY, labored out for the Nets early within the low season, wanting a promise earlier than he declared for the draft. However Thorn stopped giving out guarantees after Zoran Planinic (see beneath) and so Jimmer Fredette returned to Brigham Younger.
Earlier than the draft, the Spurs approached the Nets with a proposal: they might tackle Vince Carter’s contract in return for Fabricio Oberto and Bruce Bowen (each with straightforward buyouts) in addition to Kurt Thomas and Roger Mason Jr. Additionally they needed the Nets’ first spherical choose at No. 11. The Nets countered by saying they might be prepared to do the deal however needed the draft rights to Tiago Splitter, who’s now a Nets assistant coach. The Spurs balked and turned to the Bucks and Jefferson. Because the No. 11 choose approached, Terrence Williams and Gerald Henderson Jr. thought they knew the place they have been headed. Henderson, the Duke SG, was satisfied he was going to the Nets and T-Will thought he was headed for Charlotte one choose later. So satisfied was Henderson that he instructed the media after being picked at No. 12 that he had been instructed that the Nets have been going to take him. T-Will had even talked about the Charlotte Bobcats in a radio interview a few days earlier than the draft.
Why the Nets went in the wrong way has by no means been defined, however the commerce of Vince Carter and Anderson for Lee, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie that afternoon could have been an enormous a part of it. It’s been speculated that Nets thought Williams might fill extra of the roles they misplaced with the departure of Carter, most significantly as a passer, not a Henderson power. Actually? At one level, the Nets additionally thought of taking DaJuan Blair at No. 11, however thought that was too excessive for a man with no ACL’s. The Spurs took him at No. 37.
The legend is that the Nets had no concept that Brook Lopez would fall to them, by no means of their wildest goals. Uh, no. The day earlier than the Draft, Kiki Vandeweghe instructed WFAN, “Brook Lopez is among the guys it’s a must to do due diligence on. I don’t assume he will get to us however it’s a must to do due diligence as a result of I assure you there will likely be a state of affairs the place somebody will likely be taken and you’ll say, wow, why did they take him and it’s a must to be ready, as a result of two minutes earlier than choose you’re going to get a name asking ‘would you do that?’ and it’s a must to assume quick.” Certainly, “somebody” (Larry Brown) did one thing that permitted the Nets to have a shot at Lopez. After the eighth choose, the Bobcats instructed Lopez’s agent he was their man. Then, Brown begged Michael Jordan to take some extent guard as an alternative. Lopez sat down and D.J. Augustin stood up. Who would the Nets have taken if Lopez had gone to the Bobcats? Crew officers have instructed us the selection would have been Jerryd Bayless of Arizona … consistent with “finest participant out there”. After all, the Nets traded Jefferson for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons earlier within the day.
The Nets got here shut to 2 different trades the day of the draft that may have affected the choose. Chad Ford reported that afternoon the Nets have been “deep” in negotiations with the Grizzlies to seize the No. 5 choose, providing Memphis the No. 10 and a future first spherical choose, presumably both theirs in 2009 or the Mavs’ 2010 choose, obtained within the Kidd commerce. Ford reported the Nets have been interested by Kevin Love and Danilo Gallinari, each of whom they believed (accurately) can be gone earlier than No. 10. Earlier, Ford and Adrian Wojnarowski had each reported on one other proposal. The Blazers had supplied the Nets a deal by which both Mo Ager (Ford) or Trenton Hassell (Woj) would go to Portland together with the No. 10 choose in return for Steve Blake or Jarrett Jack and the Blazers’ No. 13 and No. 33 picks. And in one other permutation, Jonathan Givony of Draft Categorical reported it was Marcus Williams and No. 10 for Jack and No. 13. At No. 21, the Nets admit they have been caught between Ryan Anderson and at the very least two different gamers, Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts. They went with the larger man, tried to purchase a choose to take CDR and failed, then bought fortunate (after a vogue).
Who did they aim at No. 40 earlier than Douglas-Roberts fell to them? Ford stated they favored Damjan Rudez of Croatia, a 6’10” small ahead…who didn’t have such an awesome season in Europe the subsequent yr however wound up with Indiana in 2014. The Web additionally thought of shopping for a choose to take Jaycee Caroll, the undersized taking pictures guard from Utah State. When that didn’t work out, they invited him to the summer time league the place he confirmed an awesome taking pictures stroke. He wound up in Europe the place turned one of many continent’s prime 3-point specialists. He’s nonetheless taking part in at age 38. We might name him the Kyle Korver of Europe, however that may be mistaken. You’ve already suffered sufficient.
The Nets have been on the lookout for an enormous man, an athletic massive man. They seemed round at a number of prospects, showing to be interested by gamers as various as Jason Smith of Colorado State, Sean Williams of Boston Faculty, Josh McRoberts of Duke and even Glen “Massive Child” Davis of LSU, who days earlier than the draft stated he needed to play for the Nets, that he favored Lawrence Frank! They have been apparently prepared to commerce it, too. The day earlier than the draft, the Charlotte Observer reported that the Nets supplied their choose and Nachbar to the Bobcats for former lottery choose Sean Might, however Charlotte (fortunately) turned them down. In accordance with the Observer, the Cats whereas sad with Might’s conditioning and report of accidents, weren’t prepared to “give him away”.
The Nets and Pacers additionally engaged in commerce negotiations all by way of Draft Day, with New Jersey reportedly providing Jefferson, Collins and both Krstic or Marcus Williams for Jermaine O’Neal. By day’s finish, nonetheless, the talks have been described as “nothing concrete” and “fizzled”. Pacer GM Larry Chook known as all of it “bogus”. Ultimately, the Nets settled for Sean Williams and proclaimed him KMart-like. Whereas the Nets interviewed Williams, he didn’t endure psychological testing. He had declined an invite to the Pre-Draft Mix. In doing so, he prevented being measured (he was at the very least an inch and a half shorter than his listed peak) and prevented being examined. Everyone knows how THAT labored out. (It didn’t.)
Ever because the KMart commerce in July 2004, the Nets knew they might have at the very least two picks within the 2006 draft, their very own and the Clippers’. No picks have been supplied in as many trades as these two, at the very least in line with press experiences. If the Sharif Abdur-Rahim deal had gone by way of, the Nets’ choose would have wound up in Portland. The Nets had additionally supplied their very own choose to the Bobcats in a luxurious tax reduction commerce in February 2005 earlier than getting a greater supply from the Hornets, within the type of Boki Nachbar. Across the similar time, that they had supplied to commerce the Clipper choose again to its authentic homeowners for Chris Wilcox. No deal, stated Elgin Baylor. To make issues worse, the Clippers’ choose turned much less and fewer helpful because the Clippers rose within the standings. Now not wouldn’t it be a lottery choose. Then, within the weeks earlier than the draft, New Jersey tried to maneuver up, providing each picks to Seattle for the rights to the No. 10 choose and to the Hornets for the No. 12 choose, hoping to take Saer Sene or Hilton Armstrong of UConn. No deal once more. Even because the draft was ongoing, the Nets had one more supply on the desk that might have effected these picks: the Bulls have been providing Luol Deng and their second choose within the first spherical (which became Thabo Sefolosha) for Richard Jefferson. The Nets needed the Bulls’ first choose in that spherical however the Bulls stated no.
Bobby Marks stated in December 2018 that certainly the Nets thought that they had a deal for the No. 2 total choose, however that in actuality, the Bulls have been providing a later choose within the first spherical. “In 2006, we thought we getting the second total choose within the draft from Chicago. And we have been going to select LaMarcus Aldridge. And it wound up being that Chicago was providing us their second first-round choose within the draft, which was choose 16. It became Rodney Carney.”
Lastly, after two years and one night time of providing the picks, the Nets settled on Marcus Williams and Josh Boone, each obvious bargains that low within the first spherical. However in 2016, Jay Wright, the Villanova coach, and Kyle Lowry, his protege’, revealed that that they had a promise from Ed Stefanski, Rod Thorn’s No. 2, to take Lowry with a type of picks! Stefanski broke his promise, nonetheless, saying Williams simply an excessive amount of of positive factor to cross on. And as soon as they took Williams at No. 22, there was no motive to take one other level guard at 23, so that they selected Boone. Lowry admitted he was in a little bit of panic after the Nets handed on him, however Memphis took him with the subsequent choose. He wound up a four-time All-Star, third crew All-NBA participant, Olympic gold medalist and NBA champion. Williams and Boone wound up out of the league inside 4 years. Like Antoine Wright the yr earlier than, the Nets by no means labored out Williams, by no means interviewed him. Williams, it’s now identified, was additionally being thought of by the Raptors because the picks have been known as out. Hassan Adams, as soon as regarded as a lottery choose, fell arduous as effectively that night time to No. 54, the place the Nets grabbed him. He didn’t even final three years. Not loads of alternative within the NBA for a 6’2 1⁄2 energy ahead.
The morning of the draft, the New York Publish reported the Nets had determined that if Antoine Wright was out there, they might seize him at No. 15. Wright, who the Nets had by no means labored out, by no means interviewed was the consensus No. 12 choose in mock drafts. When the Raptors took Charlie Villanueva, the Lakers took Andrew Bynum and the Magic took Fran Vasquez (who?), Wright turned out there, as did Gerald Inexperienced and Danny Granger. Granger had had minor knee surgical procedure earlier than the season and confirmed up at his exercises with swelling in the identical knee. So with the Nets being orthopedic-centric, the selection got here right down to Inexperienced or Wright. There have been supporters in each camps that night time within the Struggle Room, however Wright was chosen. Why not an enormous? As a result of the Nets had already booked Lawrence Frank on a flight to Atlanta three days later to recruit Shareef Abdur-Rahim, believing accurately that they may persuade him to play for the mid-level exception.
What followers didn’t know until 2007 was that the Nets have been frantically attempting to purchase an early second spherical choose that night time so they may seize Monta Ellis, the Mississippi highschool product who had fallen out of the primary spherical due to his knee issues. They failed and Golden State took him at No. 40. So the Nets settled at No. 43 on Mile Ilic, not an awesome comfort prize. He was paid $1.6 million over two years and by no means scored some extent. (The Blazers initially needed Ilic within the Abdur-Rahim deal, however the Nets stated no.) Wright admitted years later that he hadn’t labored arduous and threw tantrums his rookie season. Like we stated, the Nets had by no means interviewed him earlier than drafting him.
It doesn’t get a lot worse than this. Nicely, yeah, it did, however not for a number of years later. Bruce Ratner, in a cost-cutting mode, determined to promote the Nets first spherical choose for $3 million. He was attempting to persuade 4 funding bankers to place up some cash. They needed him to chop prices. So in brief order, the Nets bought the primary rounder … and declined to match Kenyon Martin’s supply from the Nuggets. Irrespective of. The bankers determine to not make investments. (This story wants all kinds of emojis like this one: ♂️.)
Whereas the draft was certainly weak, it did produce a number of respectable gamers after the Nets No. 22 choose, together with sharpshooter Kevin Martin and multi-talent massive Anderson Varejao. Thorn stated the subsequent day that he may need had second ideas concerning the deal if J.R. Smith or Jameer Nelson had been out there, however each have been passed by No. 20. The Blazers took Viktor Khryapa, a 6’9” energy ahead from CSKA Moscow, then owned by you-know-who, the longer term Nets proprietor. Ironies abound.
Within the second spherical at No. 51, the Nets took somebody DraftExpress described the subsequent day as considered one of three “steals of the draft”: Christian Drejer. Drejer was seen as a extremely expert 6’10” Danish level ahead who had performed for Billy Donovan at Florida then ran off in mid-season to F.C. Barcelona…and a $1 million contract. His expertise, nonetheless, took a again seat to his emotional fragility, profitable him the nickname, “El Enigma” in Spain and “il Depresso” in Italy. No translation vital. Nets held on to his rights for commerce functions until he retired in 2009, however after a dismal 2005 summer time league audition, Nets officers stated merely that he was “not in our plans”. When he scored 23 factors in opposition to the Raptors in an NBA exhibition recreation in Rome in 2007, some Nets followers questioned if he wasn’t price one other look. Not lengthy after, an extended balky ankle bought worse and he retired from the sport.
A top-heavy draft little question however the Nets knew who they needed from the start: Zoran Planinic. They even gave him a assure that if was nonetheless on the board after they picked, he can be a Web. In return, Planinic claimed an ankle harm and shut down his exercises. He was to be the subsequent Croatian sensation at CAA and Kidd’s backup. However after a stable summer time league, his lack of English expertise and on-court inconsistency doomed him to first Byron Scott’s then Lawrence Frank’s bench. The week earlier than the draft, Chad Ford reported that nothing is ever sure within the draft, however the closest factor to certainty was the Nets’ love of Planinic at No. 22. Stefanski instructed Fred Kerber that the Nets have been additionally different prospects: Boris Diaw and Carlos Delfino. Diaw was gone one choose sooner than Planinic, Delfino three picks later.
By giving Planinic that promise, the Nets needed to cross on numerous gamers who dropped that night time, together with so as Delfino, Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Jason Kapono, Steve Blake, Mo Williams and Zaza Pachulia all of whom had extra productive NBA careers . However selecting Planinic wasn’t the largest blunder of that night time. Within the second spherical, the Nets took Kyle Korver with the 51th choose, then bought his rights to the Sixers for a pittance…$125,000. Good transfer by Billy King, who was nonetheless bragging about it as he walked out the door in East Rutherford! Why’d the Nets do it? Ed Stefanski, then an assistant GM, stated the Nets merely didn’t have the roster house. Oh effectively. A part of the cash, Zach Lowe later revealed, went to purchase a extremely neat copy machine (that reality be instructed faxed and collated too.) And Bobby Marks revealed solely lately that one other a part of the “money issues” went to pay the Summer time League entry charge and to pay the price of repaving the parking zone on the Nets outdated apply facility in East Rutherford. In different phrases, they bought so much. Get it? Quite a bit! Okay, by no means thoughts.
Korver rubbed it in throughout his 2019 Graduation Tackle at Creighton, his alma mater. “I later came upon they used that cash to pay for the entry charge for the summer time league crew and with the leftover cash that purchased a replica machine. What’s your commerce worth? As a result of mine apparently is a replica machine. Nevertheless it’s OK as a result of a few years in the past, that duplicate machine broke and I’m nonetheless taking part in.”
The yr of worldwide intrigue. The Nets had had their eyes on Nenad Krstic, an 18-year-old seven-footer from Serbia, for greater than a yr. They labored out shooters galore, made it seem that gamers like Casey Jacobsen or Flip Murray can be taken. They by no means labored out Krstic. Choosing at No. 24, they knew that that they had higher not inform anybody. Stefanski in actual fact has stated solely he and Thorn knew who they have been going to take. Good factor they saved it quiet. Spurs’ administration had let it slip to the San Antonio Categorical-Information that they have been planning to take Krstic at No. 26. The Spurs have been so upset they misplaced Krstic that they supplied the Nets a commerce that night time, particulars of which have by no means been revealed. Oh yeah, the Nets took Tamar Slay at No. 54. Glorious towel waver.
Nobody knew it on the time, however this was the day the franchise circled. That afternoon, Thorn and Jerry Colangelo agreed in precept to buying and selling Jason Kidd for Stephon Marbury. Then, that night, Thorn took a threat. He picked Eddie Griffin, the troubled Seton Corridor star, at No. 7, believing that Carroll Dawson of the Rockets coveted him. A cellphone name to Houston confirmed his perception and Thorn stayed on the cellphone with Dawson as Houston picked Richard Jefferson (No. 13), Jason Collins (No. 18) and Brandon Armstrong (No. 23) with the primary spherical picks traded for Griffin. Someplace between No. 18 and No. 23, the commerce was introduced to loud booing at Madison Sq. Backyard, however two of the three proved to be nice picks, with Jefferson and Collins going from dependable subs of their rookie yr to five-year starters for convention and division champs.
Nevertheless it might have been oh so good. Thorn has admitted he thought of taking Gilbert Arenas, the 19-year-old level guard from Arizona, as an alternative of Armstrong. His determination supposedly got here after he bought dangerous evaluations on Arenas from Eddie Jordan, then assistant coach, and good evaluations on Armstrong from Jerry West. Arenas turned an all-Star whereas Armstrong has been reduce by groups within the NBA, Italian League and D-League. Furthermore, Dawson reportedly needed the Nets to comply with a swap of first rounders in 2002’s draft, believing the Nets can be within the lottery. As an alternative, the Nets gained 52 video games and the Rockets wound up with the general No. 1 choose, Yao Ming. No must be grasping. Spherical two yielded fan favourite Brian Scalabrine.
The Nets bought fortunate (profitable the lottery at 25-1 odds) and unfortunate (the worst draft within the final 20 years). Then, throughout exercises, Kenyon Martin collapsed after three or 4 performs, an indicator that he was both sad concerning the prospect of taking part in for the woeful Nets or his leg was nonetheless not healed after severe surgical procedure that winter. By no means thoughts. The Nets took him anyway, passing on Darius Miles. Whew. Within the second spherical, they go massive as effectively, taking Soumalia Samake, one of many crew’s most forgettable gamers (final seen toiling in China). The teeth-gritting begins right here. John Nash, the Nets outgoing GM, has stated then chief scout Ed Stefanski argued that night time for the Nets to take an Ohio State taking pictures guard named Michael Redd. He was shouted down.