Brooklyn Nets: 15 best draft picks of all-time (updated through 2018-19)

Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets, NBA Draft
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 26: Kerry Kittles poses for a photo after being drafted number eight overall by the New Jersey Nets on June 26, 1996 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherdord, New Jersey during the 1996 NBA Draft. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and /or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Copyright 1996 NBAE (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets don’t have a great record when it comes to the NBA Draft, but they have landed some gems in their history. Here are their 15 best picks.

Since their inception as the short-lived New York Freighters in 1967, the Brooklyn Nets franchise has not racked up the best record when it comes to success in the NBA Draft (or the ABA Draft, for that matter).

Since that first ABA Draft in 1967, the Nets have had 70 players emerge from those talent drawings to don a Nets uniform.

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That includes the likes of first-round flameouts Yinka Dare, Ed O’Bannon and Pearl Washington to late-round finds such as Brian Mahoney (16th round, ABA 1971) and Oliver Taylor (taken in the late rounds in 1970, before the ABA published the actual order of picks).

When still the New York Nets, the franchise struck out big-time on back-to-back first-round choices in 1969 and 1970, selecting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Lanier, only to see both big men head to the more-established NBA.

When putting together a list of the 15 best draft picks in the history of the Brooklyn Nets franchise, the criteria for inclusion was that a player’s contributions to the team were limited to what they did immediately after being drafted.

For instance, Bernard King was a first-round pick by the New York Nets in 1977, played two seasons with the club and was traded. Those first two years count. What King did when he returned to the team in 1993, however, does not.

Similarly, players were evaluated strictly on what they did with the Brooklyn Nets franchise. Ryan Anderson has had a solid 10-year NBA career, but only spent his rookie year with the then-New Jersey Nets.

What he’s done since — including a Most Improved Player-winning season with the Orlando Magic — is not included.

With the caveats and addendums covered, here are the 15 best draft picks in the history of the Nets franchise.