3 best draft steals in recent Nets history
The Brooklyn Nets have found some diamonds in the rough over the years.
The Nets, in both Brooklyn and New Jersey, haven’t always had the best luck in the NBA Draft. Be it trading away years of picks in the infamous Celtics deal, acquiring Gerald Wallace with the pick that became Damian Lillard, or oftentimes pissing off the basketball gods to the point where the lottery ping-pong balls never turn out in their favor, the draft hasn’t always been kind to the Nets.
Having said that, current GM Sean Marks has built the foundation of this team through solid drafting, and legendary executive Rod Thorn helped the Nets reach the Finals in consecutive seasons thanks to some savvy picks of his own. The Nets have stolen some quality NBA talent right from under the noses of several other prospective teams, with these three players standing out as the biggest steals in Nets history.
These three players have been the biggest draft steals in Nets history
3. C Jarrett Allen, 22nd overall, 2017
Kenny Atkinson’s offense was defined by plenty of pace and shooting, but what doomed him in the beginning of his Nets tenure was a lack of interior defense that allowed bigger teams to pick up an easy two points every time they went down the floor. In order to remedy that, Brooklyn used the No. 22 pick on Allen, a 6-11 center out of Texas who earned plenty of praise on #DraftTwitter for his gangly 7-5 wingspan, impressive leaping ability, and skill at attacking the rim for a player of his size. While Allen’s lack of a jump shot helped contribute to his slide down draft boards, the Nets selected him to fill a specific role as a rebounder and shot-blocker, and the afro-sporting center has done just that.
Even after he vacated his starting spot after the DeAndre Jordan signing, Allen has remained as productive as ever. While his scoring has dipped, his 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game would both be new career-best marks. Considering how the late first round of the NBA draft is often filled with unknown European prospects being judged off of a few clips of 144p video and productive college players without the athletic ability to stick in the NBA, the fact that the Nets were able to find a raw player like Allen, accentuate his strengths, and make him a valuable role player on one of the league’s best teams is a credit to Brooklyn’s development system.
Time will tell if Allen re-signs with Brooklyn, which would move him even further up this list in the near future.