Josh Newman, Field ReporterEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In what is considered by many to be a weak NBA Draft, at least in the top half of the first round, Nets General Manager Billy King knows very well what type of player he’ll be in a position to draft at 22nd overall come Thursday evening at Barclays Center.
“I think for where we are, it’s better because I think you”re gonna get guys that are more polished,” King said Monday afternoon at PNY Center after what is expected to be the team’s second-to-last pre-draft workout. “They may not be a franchise guy, but they’re gonna be a good piece.”
According to the latest DraftExpress mock draft, of the 10 players slotted to go from 21-30, six of the 10 are at least 21 years old. Of the seven Americans slotted to go from 21-30, five of them have played at least three years of college basketball. That is what King wants and, unless he trades up, down or out of this draft, that is what he’s going to get.
Defensive-minded, 6-foot-11 Louisville junior Gorgui Dieng is currently holds the No. 22 slot on the DraftExpress mock draft, while the Nets worked out Michigan junior shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 20) and high-scoring Virginia Tech senior combo-guard Erick Green (No. 31).
Going into draft night, King, new head coach Jason Kidd, Director of Player Personnel Gregg Polinsky and the scouting staff will have their own board of players ranked 1-60 to work off of.
“I like where we are and there’s some guys where I think we’ll be able to get a player when we select at 22 where they may be able to crack the rotation this year, but probably in another year for sure,” King said. “
As his history as an executive has shown, King is not against making trades leading up to or on draft night, but that won’t change the fact that the Nets have needs to fill. Furthermore, it may be in their best interest to fill those needs with young talent and cheap salary when possible, which means drafting someone.
Among the needs to fill, the Nets should be in the market for another big man to back up Brook Lopez, a scoring guard to come off the bench and a backup point guard with C.J. Watson appearing set to opt out of his $1.1 million player option and hit free agency.
Whether or not King opts to draft a point guard, there will be a third one in once training camp starts to push Tyshawn Taylor for the backup spot. Taylor was behind Deron Williams and Watson on the depth chart as a rookie last spring.
“I’d like to have a good backup point guard,” King said. “I think Tyshawn has a chance, but also, we’ll have another one, so there will be competition for that backup spot.”
Assistant coaches announcement coming
Since Kidd was made head coach on June 12, attention has turned to rounding out his staff. Roy Rogers is reportedly close to taking one of those spots, while talks continue with one-time Nets head coach Lawrence Frank.
One way or another, a resolution to the situation is coming.
“I think probably in the next couple of days, we’ll make some announcements,” King said.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA