The Brooklyn Nets entered the 2023-24 season on a fresh start - with star voices gone and a new, younger team in the fold, they hope that youthful energy will guide them to a playoff spot.
Even with that direction clearly being the right choice (and only option) for the Nets at the point they pivoted, were there other moves that could have been made to help supplement this current team and get them to a better spot than they are poised to be in now? Absolutely.
Here are 3 moves that the Nets should regret:
3. Drafting Dariq Whitehead
I'm sorry, but the 22nd overall pick of this draft should not have to be sent to the G-League, even if he's coming back from offseason surgery. When he was in high school, Whitehead was a five-star recruit before committing to Duke, so there's definite potential, but it's a little shaky to make this pick at this point in the first round. Maybe in the late-20's, but not early-20's.
I will keep stressing that Whitehead has potential, and by no means am I giving up on him, but there were definitely more qualified options to go with here, especially for a team looking to make a run to the playoffs. He was the fifth option on a Duke team that lost in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament to Tennessee this past March, averaging 8.3 points per game on 40.8% shooting.
I know the team would've had a conundrum since they already have Cam Thomas, but Marcus Sasser was picked at 25, and he's already provided a nice spark for the Pistons this early in the season, averaging 8.6 points per game on 48.1% shooting and 38.5% three-point shooting. This is someone who would have been ready to help the Nets immediately.
If this was just indeed a throwaway pick for the Nets (which would be an absolute disgrace, and I highly doubt it) then just trade the damn pick! Get some sort of return! Luckily, they just called him up from the G-League, so hopefully, we could see him in action at some point soon if he's ready.
I didn't get this pick at the time, and moreso, I don't get it now.