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Nets draft grades
2 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2021 - 11:26AM #1
Posts: 7,610


27. Brooklyn Nets: SG Cameron Thomas, LSU

There's some people asking, wait, you have Kyrie Irving and James Harden, why do you need Cameron Thomas? But that's not the way to think about it. Thomas gives them a player who can play in the same style as those guys, as he's a big scorer built to score 20 on any given night. This is really smart. Grade: A+

29. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix): C Day'Ron Sharpe, North Carolina

This pick was made by Brooklyn after a trade with Phoenix. And it's a pick for fit. Nobody was better in college basketball at offensive rebounding than Sharpe, so this is a very sensible fit for a team with a ton of scorers. Grade: B+

44. Brooklyn Nets (from Indiana): SF Kessler Edwards, Pepperdine

I was more in on Edwards than just about anyone, so it won't be a surprise to hear me say this is incredible value for the Nets. I had a first round grade on Edwards because of his positional size and scoring ability. He has all the tools to step in and be a contributor on a Nets team primed to compete for a title next season. Grade: A+

49. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta): PG Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton

The Nets get one of college basketball's most electric shot-makers here at 49. Zegarowski makes shots off the catch, off the dribble, sprinting off screens and from any distance on the court. He's a tad undersized and has just-OK athleticism but is a potent scorer who could be a rotation guard even for a deep team like the Nets. Grade: B-

59. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix): PF RaiQuan Gray, Florida State

I had Gray mocked to the Nets 10 picks higher than this, so scoring him at No. 59 is a nice value. He had a high body fat percentage at the combine and needs to trim down a tad, but there's some toughness and swagger in his game that gives off some PJ Tucker vibes. Grade: A

2 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2021 - 8:49AM #2
Posts: 7,610
2 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2021 - 8:52AM #3
Posts: 7,610


No. 27 pick: Cam Thomas (LSU)

At just 19, Thomas was one of the best scorers in the draft. A consistent scorer with an unlimited range, Thomas led the SEC (23.0 points) in scoring this past season. Thomas will need to get better on the defensive end in the future and his shot selection will be an interesting point of conversation (he shot just 32.5 percent from three on 8.5 three point attempts per 40 minutes) but his offensive contributions could be useful for what will likely be a thin Nets roster.

A solid shot creator out of the pick and roll, Thomas will get reps with Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant all likely having days and games off throughout the season. Adding Thomas allows Brooklyn to find a fill-in for the departed Shamet on a cost-controlled rookie scale deal for four years.

Grade: B

No. 29 pick: Day’Ron Sharpe (North Carolina)

Center was a position of weakness for the Nets last season. Though Nicolas Claxton showed growth, Brooklyn opted to go small often, using Blake Griffin, Jeff Green and Durant at the five in crunch time and the postseason. With DeAndre Jordan’s future murky at best, taking a center in Sharpe made sense. From the University of North Carolina, Sharpe slimmed down during the draft process, losing about 20 pounds.

Sharpe averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 19.2 minutes with the Tar Heels. For a Nets team that finished 22nd in offensive rebound rate, Sharpe could help on that end. He led the nation in offensive rebound percentage (18.1 percent). Though he has limitations offensively and some mock drafts had him in the second round, the 6-foot-11 center can eat up some minutes as a developmental project that has great upside.

Grade: B+

No. 44 pick: Kessler Edwards (Pepperdine)

Edwards provides size as a combo forward for Brooklyn. He shot 39.5 percent from the three-point line over his three years at Pepperdine. A quality athlete, Edwards averaged 1.2 blocks last season for the Waves. Edwards could be an intriguing option on the perimeter and in the paint as a versatile forward. Outside of Durant and Green, Brooklyn lacked true impact defenders that could switch across multiple positions. The 20-year old Edwards could have a huge impact.

Grade: A-

No. 49 pick: Marcus Zegarowski (Creighton)

The Nets love undersized guards as evidenced by the presence of guards Chris Chiozza and Mike James. They continued their appreciation for small guards with the drafting of 6-foot-2 Zegarowski. An honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press, Zegarowski was one of the best shooters in the nation. The guard from Creighton led the Big East with 80 three-pointers made and shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. The 23-year-old guard can provide spacing and create his own shot, but it remains to be seen what his role would be.

Grade: C+

No. 59 pick: RaiQuan Gray (Florida State)

Though he’s not in the best shape of anyone in the draft, Gray is one of the more unique players in the draft. A 6-foot-8, 269-pound point forward, Gray nearly shot 56 percent from the field on twos while averaging 11.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Most of the damage Gray does comes in the paint, so improving his outside shooting will be important if he ever sees the court with Brooklyn’s core players.

Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B

2 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2021 - 8:53AM #4
Posts: 7,610

27. Brooklyn Nets: Cameron Thomas, SG, LSU

This is fairly good value for the Nets after Thomas slipped toward the back of the first round, giving them an extra bucket-getter as they aim to build out their supporting cast. Thomas can be very ball-needy, but he’s a good jump shooter who could conceivably be much more efficient as an auxiliary player, rather than the focal point of a team. The Nets, with an established trio of stars, should be able to lessen his responsibilities in the early going. While Thomas’s style of play isn’t for everyone (including this writer), it’s a good gamble for Brooklyn.

Grade: B

29. Phoenix Suns: Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina

This pick was traded from the Suns to the Nets earlier in the day, in a deal that sent Landry Shamet to Phoenix. This is one of my favorite picks in the first round, as Sharpe is a terrific fit for Brooklyn, and a potentially starting-caliber center in the long run. There was chatter that Sharpe could come off the board a bit earlier than this after a strong predraft process, and the Nets sorely need a rugged, rebounding center in their rotation. Sharpe is also a terrific passer and has some upside shooting the ball, and could help Brooklyn sooner than you think.


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