In the coming days, the Nets are planning on hosting, along with the Houston Rockets, 44 players who are mostly believed to be lottery picks. Among the players in attendance will be Iona point guard, Scott Machado, French guard Evan Fournier, Syracuse forward Kris Joseph, and Big East player of the year, Marquette’s Jae Crowder. Nets assistant coaches will be on hand getting an up-close look at the prospects, and they will be running many of the drills. The Nets have an advantage in hosting the event, because their coaches and front office will get the first chance at interviewing the players.
It’s nice that the Nets are doing this, but does it really matter? The Nets are only guaranteed the #57 pick in the draft right now, and they are also likely to get the Lakers #60 selection if they pay L.A. a sum of money. They have a small chance at landing a top-3 pick, but none of these players at the combine are even going to be lottery picks, let alone in the top 3. And will it really matter who the Nets select at #57 or #60? It is unlikely that it will matter, but it is possible. Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas finished 7th in the rookie of the year voting this year, and he was the 60th (and last) pick in last year’s draft. However, it is rare to find a quality starter with a pick that late. Teams often choose to use a late pick on a European player who may or may not ever come to America, and if he does, he is usually terrible. I hope the Nets use their 57th and possibly 60th picks on players who played college basketball in the states rather than take a risk on some unknown European.
Also, when you have a pick that late in the draft, most of the talent is already gone. I believe the key to making a good late pick is drafting a guy with a really good attitude and character and a guy who is willing to work hard. If you look at Thomas on Sacramento, the guy is 5’9, and yet he is still able to compete at an NBA level. He works very hard and gets the most he can out of his body and skill level. Another guy who I will look at is Denver’s Kenneth Faried, who finished 3rd in the rookie of the year voting. Faried was selected with the 22nd pick last year, but that was much higher than most people thought he would be selected. Most people believed he would be a second round pick because he went to a small school in Morehead State and because he is an undersized power forward at only 6’8. However, Faried worked very hard the entire season, he fought for every loose ball and gave 100% on defense, and now that is looking like a very good pick. I’m not sure if the Nets will be able to get a guy as good as Faried at the end of the second round, but I just hope they select a hard worker.