10 Times the Brooklyn Nets missed on a superstar in the NBA Draft

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Tracy McGrady #1 of the Orlando Magic Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

4. Tracy McGrady – 1997

New Jersey drafted Paterson native Tim Thomas with the seventh pick of the draft. However, Thomas was quickly moved to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that included the rights to the second overall pick, Keith Van Horn.

Van Horn, who was selected right behind Tim Duncan, quickly established himself as one of the league’s best scorers and looked like he was well on his way to being a superstar. However, injuries throughout his career prevented him from living up to his fullest potential.

Despite the injuries, though, Van Horn still put up a very respectable 18.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game average in 314 games with the Nets and was a very big part of the team that went to the Finals in 2002.

If the Nets could go back and simply select Tracy McGrady when he was still available instead of trading up for Van Horn, then they most likely would, as the seven-time All-Star took the league by storm in the 2000s with his scoring abilities and next-level athleticism.

Instead, McGrady fell to the Toronto Raptors at the ninth overall selection, as he would spend three seasons north of the border and team-up with his cousin, Vince Carter, for two seasons before moving on to the Orlando Magic.

McGrady has been on the All-NBA First Team twice in his career and has also been on the Second Team three times as well as the Third Team twice.

McGrady also won back-to-back scoring titles with the Magic in 2003 and 2004, as the 6’8″ guard put up a whopping 32.1 points per game in the 2002-03 season.

Injuries, unfortunately, slowed T-Mac down during his time with the Houston Rockets, and it has left many basketball fans wondering how much higher of a level he could’ve reached had he stayed healthy, but man, if he was paired next to Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin in the early 2000s, then they might’ve been able to come away with at least one of those championships they competed for in 2002 and 2003, and may have even competed for more.