Misconception No. 1: The Nets don’t have any draft picks
The first and most recognizable misconception about the Nets is in regards to their draft pick situation. Just look at the tweet below, and it’s obvious why…
It’s rather common to see the Nets being used as a punching bag for draft pick-related jokes on Twitter. Granted, it’s a bit warranted given that King gave up the Nets’ rights to four first-round picks in the blockbuster deal. But, what’s worse than the fact is constantly being reminded of it.
King’s infamous trade may still be in recent memory, but Marks has been doing his best to leave the past in the past. He’s been doing a hell of a job at that, too.
Marks’ earliest move to regain lost picks took place last summer, when he dealt Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers for rookie Caris LeVert. As Nothin’ But Nets contributor Charles Daye noted on the Brooklyn Revolution Podcast (in cut footage), if one digs far enough into the roots of this trade, it can be traced directly to the Nets-Celtics deal in 2013.
Let me explain.
Young came to Brooklyn as part of the trade that allowed Garnett to return to Minnesota. Garnett, as we all know, was one of the cornerstones of the ill-famed Nets-Celtics trade. Thus, this sequence of deals can be outlined as follows:
Garnett –> Young –> LeVert
In a sense, this can be interpreted as the Nets recovering a draft pick from the trade with the Celtics, in the form of LeVert.
This was only the beginning of Marks’ quest to reclaim assets. The Nets came into the 2016-17 season with no other choice than to swap picks with the Celtics in the 2017 Draft, since it was already assumed they’d finish the year with a worse record (which they did). It’s better than not having a pick at all, but it’s still less than ideal to work with the 27th pick, rather than a lottery pick.
Midseason, Marks dealt Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough to the Washington Wizards. As part of the trade, the Nets received the Wizards’ 2017 first-round pick, which will be No. 22. Not too shabby for a a franchise that “has no picks,” eh?
Marks spoke about the draft in an interview with the YES Network’s Nets Magazine:
"“It’s another tool in our tool box,” he said of the draft. “It’s nice to have a first round pick. It’s better to have two and we’ll just see what happens. I think we can be a little more flexible now. People have commented, ‘this is a deep draft’ and so forth."
One final note regarding the Nets’ future draft picks. A more unknown aspect of the LeVert-Young trade is Indiana included a second-round pick that is protected for selections 45 to 60 until 2023. As interpreted by NetsDaily, this means that if the Pacers don’t make the playoffs from now until 2022, the Nets will receive Indiana’s pick. We still have a long way to go until 2023, but hey, that also means the Pacers have plenty of time to potentially crumble.
So yes, the Nets actually have draft picks.