Brooklyn Nets: 2021 NBA Draft prospects to watch for

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Ziaire Williams #3 of the Stanford Cardinal plays the USC Trojans at Galen Center on March 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Ziaire Williams #3 of the Stanford Cardinal plays the USC Trojans at Galen Center on March 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets season came to a crushing end after they were defeated in a heartbreaker by the Milwaukee Bucks. Now, the Nets look to the offseason to build a championship contender around their Big Three.

Before free agency, the Nets will draft from the latest group of college and international players to test their skill in the NBA. The Nets own the 27th, 44th, 49th, and 59th picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. Here are some prospects the Nets could look to acquire with these picks.

Brooklyn Nets Draft Target: Ziaire Williams (SG/SF, Stanford)

Ziaire Williams, if he makes it to the 27th pick, is a no-brainer for Brooklyn. He may just be 188 pounds, but his 6-9.75 height and 6-10.25 wingspan give him plenty of size for the forward position.

He was not the most physical player at Stanford, and his lack of strength was easily his biggest weakness in college, but an NBA weight training program could help fix that. At Stanford, he displayed an elite ability to shoot off the catch and defend on the ball. This is the type of player the Nets could use. He won’t demand the ball, but will be a valuable asset to play alongside James Harden, even in the pick and roll. His size and defensive prowess also give him the ability to switch multiple positions, a popular pillar of the Steve Nash defensive scheme.

Brooklyn Nets Draft Target: Aaron Henry (SG/SF, Michigan State)Β 

Aaron Henry brings a maturity that other draft prospects don’t have. As a senior at Michigan State, the Indiana native averaged 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. His greatest contribution to Brooklyn would be on the defensive end, where he shined for the Spartans.

His 29% three-point percentage isn’t pretty, but his mechanics are good enough that Nets assistant coach Adam Harrington – who will hopefully survive the great Nets assistant coach purge – will be able to fix it. At 6-6 in shoes and 209.6 pounds, Henry will be able to have an immediate impact on defense the moment he joins the NBA.

Brooklyn Nets Draft Target: Isaiah Todd (PF, G League Ignite)

Todd is a gifted basketball talent, a lanky athlete that shows great coordination for a young player of his size. He had a slow start in the G League but improved throughout the season and came on strong at the end. He’s got all of the physical tools and skill-set to be a modern, shooting power forward in the NBA, almost like a young Jeff Green. He pairs his excellent length with quickness in the open court and a promising offensive game. His size and athleticism allow him to guard at the rim, and his quickness allows him to switch off and guard smaller players on the perimeter.

Brooklyn Nets Draft Target: Quentin Grimes (SG, Houston)

This past season at Houston, Grimes averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. The Cougars ranked second in opponent points per game in the 2020-21 season, and Grimes played a big part in that. Grimes was the best defensive player on one of the best defensive teams in the country.

This defensive prowess will go with Grimes to the NBA, and the Nets could use his particular skills on roster. Aside from his defense, Grimes was one of the best 3-point shooters in the NCAA, shooting 40.3 percent from range. This shooting ability, paired with the ability to walk into the NBA as an elite defender, makes Grimes a good prospect for Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets to look at before draft day.