Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets made two trades and finished with three draft picks: Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas (pick #41), Toko Shengalia of Georgia (the country; pick #54), and Ilkan Karaman of Turkey (pick #57). The Nets traded cash in exchange for the 41st and 54th picks. The 41st pick originally belonged to the Portland Trail Blazers and the 54th pick belonged to the Philadelphia 76ers. We are not excited about the players drafted, but Nets GM Billy King had few options.
Tyshawn Taylor was the first player drafted by the Nets tonight. He was a major part of the Kansas Jayhawks’ run to the National Title game this past year. We believe that he is just another Sundiata Gaines: a point guard who holds onto the ball too long and takes too many shots. I really hope we’re wrong. Some ESPN analysts marvel at his speed; however, he has had some off the court troubles. In his sophomore year, Kansas head coach Bill Self suspended Taylor indefinitely for violating team rules. Some scouts also question his defense. Taylor certainly is not a perfect point guard, but maybe he can be a good third string point guard for the next few years.
Toko Shengalia and Ilkan Karaman are big men, 6’10” tall, and both are Eurostash players because they will stay overseas next season and may or may not join the Nets at some point in the future. The Nets could buy out Karaman’s contract this offseason, but not Shengalia’s. Billy King said of Karaman after the draft, “The goal is to keep him over there for a while, let him develop.” King saw Karaman play a game against Deron Williams’ Turkish team and must have liked what he saw. Karaman collected 13 points and 8 rebounds in the game that Billy King attended. Karaman will never be a star, as he is a hard-nosed, physical power forward who is undersized. He also has a lot of tattoos. I know little about Shengalia.
Some Nets fans may remember Mile Ilic, a second round draft pick in 2005. Ilic was an international player and at the time he was drafted, Nets fans did not know if or when he would play in New Jersey. In the 2006-2007 season, he did join the Nets as Nenad Krstic’s back-up; but Ilic was absolutely terrible and rarely played. He was soon demoted to the Colorado 14ers. I am anxious that at least one of the international players the Nets drafted tonight will just be another Mile Ilic.
The Nets did not give away very much for their picks tonight. They received the 57th pick a few years ago in a very bizarre transaction that brought Chris Quinn to the Nets and sent Rafer Alston to the Miami Heat. The 41st and 54th picks were both bought with some of Mikhail Prokhorov’s millions of dollars. Billy King was interested in trading for a first round pick, but he said that every team he talked too asked for too much in return. The Nets wanted to acquire draft picks with cash, but teams were insisting that the Nets exchange future draft picks. Billy King would not give up future picks tonight – and I am glad about this.
All in all, tonight’s draft did not help the Nets very much – but Billy King did not make any bad trades.