The Brooklyn Nets may not have a ton of draft capital in the new few years, but 2021 gives them a chance to reload, as they have four draft picks in this cycle, including a first-round selection at No. 27 overall. This could be the perfect range from which Brooklyn could draft a player like VCU guard Nah’Shon Hyland.
The Nets could use this pick to add a new face at the center position, but injuries to both James Harden and Kyrie Irving proved that this team is very thin at point guard, and drafting a long-term backup could be a prudent strategy.
While there is a bit of a gulf between the top ball-handlers, a list that includes names like Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, there exists a second tier of guards that could end up coming off of the board in this range, and Hyland ranks among those players.
Bleacher Report has pegged the former Ram to the Nets at pick No. 27, citing his skills on the offensive end. Will Sean Marks be intrigued enough by the man they call “Bones” to use a very precious first-round pick on him?
Brooklyn Nets draft: Nah’Shon Hyland strengths
Hyland averaged 19.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his final season in Richmond, making his mark as a score-first ball-handler. Hyland has a lethal jump shot, and he pairs that with a tremendous ability to create for himself off of the dribble. His craftiness inside helped him take a huge step forward with regard to finishing in the paint.
As far as his athletic potential is concerned, there is a ton to get excited about. Hyland has the pure speed that Steve Nash likes to see from his point guards, and he pairs that with some finishing moves inside that are difficult to stop. He’s not a perfect prospect, but he’ll get buckets as a rookie.
On defense, the 6-3 Hyland has a wingspan that stretches out to 6-9. Given his hustle and tenacity on that end, there is some hope that he could switch onto several different positions after a year of seasoning from a professional staff.
Brooklyn Nets draft: Nah’Shon Hyland weaknesses
Hyland has limited experience against future NBA players given the conference he was in, and even despite that lack of teeth-cutting against future pros, he showed some flaws. While shooting will be his meal ticket, his increased volume of shots saw his 3-point percentage drop from 43% to 37%.
His defensive tools are intriguing, but he is WAY too skinny at this point in time, meaning he might not be an instant contributor. Teams may also be wary of his fit, as he isn’t a good enough passer to earn minutes right away as a point guard and is too slight to line up on the wing right out of the gate.
How would Nah’Shon Hyland fit on the Brooklyn Nets?
Hyland would clearly be suited for backup work as a rookie, but he could help Nash take some of the pressure off of Harden and Kyrie by being able to conduct the offense with both of them on the bench, giving the Nets more chances to deploy all three stars at once. Hyland would also prevent Nash from giving Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown minutes at point guard.
The Nets need to put Hyland, an NBA Combine star, on a strict diet of lean meat and protein shakes as a rookie, as he may need to add as many as 30 pounds to his bony frame. If he does that, Brooklyn may have just snagged one of the best offensive players in this class right before the second round comes along.