That’s their general offseason wish list and they can start trying to find some of those things in tomorrow night’s NBA Draft.
When you’re picking at Nos. 27 and 36 you’re limited as to what you can get because everything depends on what happens before you select. But as you probably have read somewhere by now, Nets general manager Billy King rarely picks where he’s supposed to anyway.
As we detailed in a story in The Record over the weekend, King made trades on seven of the 11 draft days he spent as a 76ers executive. He completed six trades during the 2006 and 2007 drafts and was a part of 15 total in 11 drafts. (His first was the 1997 draft, and involved sending Keith Van Horn to the Nets for Tim Thomas). This is King’s first draft since 2007 so he may try to make up for lost time.
Maybe it’s because we’ve written about it so much, but we would be surprised if King and the Nets don’t move up, add another pick or make a trade to acquire a veteran. Our guess is King is not in love with anyone he’s going to get at 27.
Also, you don’t expect someone taken that low to make an immediate and significant impact on a team that won 24 games. But the Nets are hoping to find some players who can help them.
“It’ll be a pretty good player,” King said. “In my mind, there’s probably four guys I really like. And I think one of the four will probably be there.”
We’ve heard and read plenty of names that the Nets are interested in or could take with athletic Georgia Tech combo and two-way guard Iman Shumpert ranking high on their list. The Nets may have to move up if this is who they want because he’s been linked as high as the Suns at 13, the Knicks at 17 and the early 20s. But the Nets like his athleticism, versatility and ability to defend.
Others we’ve seen or heard include lean UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt, unproven yet athletic and potentially explosive Kansas guard Josh Selby, Richmond forward Justin Harper and Purdue’s four-year player JaJuan Johnson, a power forward/center.
“I think we’re getting close,” King said. “Now, we’ve just got to get everybody else to cooperate.”
Looking at the second round – and really after the top four in the draft no one can predict at this point how things will go – the Nets will have a number of players they would consider. But they may have to use some of Mikhail Prokhorov’s millions to buy another pick because some of the players they like may not be there at 36.
Among them are Maryland rebounder Jordan Williams, Georgia power forward Trey Thompkins, forward Bojan Bogdanovich, who played in Croatia the last two years, and guards Travis Leslie of Georgia and Duke’s Nolan Smith.
It’s important to note that King has done well with some late picks, though, as he took Lou Williams 45th in 2005, Sam Dalembert 26th in 2001 and Todd MacCulloch 47th in 1999. He also traded for the rights to Kyle Korver, Willie Green, John Salmon and Nazr Mohammed.
Whatever the Nets do tomorrow, whoever they acquire, that player is going to become better right away from playing with Deron Williams. But it’s just the beginning of the Nets addressing their off-season wish list.
They will be active through trades and free agency. But with a lockout possible, it’s hard to tell when that will be.
History lesson: For what it's worth, the Nets only have had the No. 27 pick once and that was last year. Drafting for the Hawks, the Nets took Jordan Crawford and sent his rights and the No. 31 pick to Atlanta for Damion James, who went 24th.
Some notable players taken with No. 27 pick include current Net Sasha Vujacic, ex-Net Jacque Vaughn, Dennis Rodman, Kendrick Perkins, Sergio Rodriguez, Aaron Afflalo, and Linas Kleiza.
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Al Iannazzone covers the Nets for The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)