The Brooklyn Nets will not begin next season with top draft prospects Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, or Harrison Barnes. I believe there are five good reasons the Nets have no chance at having these players next season.
Reason One: 25.3% chance of winning first round pick in draft lottery.
As we’ve discussed frequently here, the Nets traded their first round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers. However, the Nets protected the pick so that if they win a top three pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, they keep it. Since their odds of winning a top three pick are only 25.3%, they will probably lose their pick to the Trail Blazers.
Reason Two: no trade assets.
The Nets currently have four total assets at their disposal: Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, MarShon Brooks, and the Miami Heat’s second round draft pick. All their other players are either free agents or have “out” clauses and have not committed to play for Brooklyn next season. If the Nets were to lose their first round pick to the Trail Blazers, they would have no way of trading for another first round pick because they have no good assets to trade away.
Reason Three: Nets want Dwight Howard.
If the Nets get lucky in the draft lottery and win a top three pick, I am confident that they would trade the pick away for Dwight Howard (if possible). If they had to choose between winning now and rebuilding for the future, the Nets would much prefer to win now. They are desperate to sign a superstar player, like Dwight Howard, to attract large crowds to their new arena in Brooklyn and satisfy their own star, Deron Williams. As I wrote about here, Deron Williams is a free agent and it seems he will only rejoin the Nets if they acquire other good players, like Dwight Howard.
Reason Four: most top draft prospects are freshman.
Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal are top draft prospects who are freshman. Since the Nets are most interested in winning now, rather than building for the future, they would be interested in draft prospects who can immediately start and perform at a high level. In other words, they would not want to wait for a rookie to develop before taking a large role in the team. The freshman prospects in this year’s draft will need to develop, especially on offense. Anthony Davis has no jump shot, Andre Drummond needs to work on foul shooting and scoring from the low post, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is very limited overall on offense. Bradley Beal seems to be near his potential now.
Reason Five: some top players play at wrong positions.
The Nets are looking to add starters to their roster. Therefore, they will look to add players who play at positions Brooklyn lacks skill at. I am assuming that the Nets will acquire either Brook Lopez or Dwight Howard and either Gerald Wallace or Andrei Kirilenko. This means that they would rather not acquire another starting-quality center or small forward. Harrison Barnes and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are small forwards. Andre Drummond is a center. That being said, Chad Ford reports that the Nets are interested in Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bradley Beal. I will post another article soon specifically about these three prospects.