Much has been made of the Brooklyn Nets‘ first-round pick in this year’s draft, and whether or not they’ll look to deal it elsewhere for win-now help.
Sean Marks and the front office have dealt both of their first-round picks on draft night over the last two years.
So why should anyone think they’d change course now, with each of the Big Three all extension eligible this summer?
For one, cheap contributing talent is hard to come by. If Marks and the Nets front office feel strongly about a prospect, don’t doubt that they’ll bring them into the fold.
And the best way to get an idea as to what they may be looking for is reading up on mock drafts, of which there are aplenty being published this week.
With the 27th Pick in the 2021 NBA Draft…
Jeremy Woo released his latest mock draft, including all 60 picks, for Sports Illustrated on Monday morning.
For the Brooklyn Nets, he went with guard Miles McBride with the 27th overall pick.
The sophomore out of West Virginia is coming off of a season where he averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game, earning All-Big 12 honors.
McBride clocks in at 32nd overall on ESPN’s Top-100 big board.
Woo cited his defensive intensity and shot-making ability as to why the Nets may take an interest at 27th:
McBride has earned a number of fans around the league with his toughness, on-ball defense and shot-making skills, and will enter draft night in the mix for teams all over the 20s. He’s undersized, but has off-the-charts length and a reliable pull-up jumper that gives him a little more to offer than your typical defensive-minded college guard.
He also went as far as to suggest he is an NBA-ready prospect:
Optimistic scouts think he has the chops to anchor bench units, and the Nets should be in the market for more NBA-ready talent if they keep this pick, making McBride’s poised, no-frills game a nice fit here.
That’s oftentimes a shared opinion for defense-first talents like McBride.
As The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote in his big board: “Gritty player with a winning mentality and an insatiable appetite for getting stops on defense.”
He ranked McBride 31st while making comparisons to All-Star guard Jrue Holiday and noted defender Jevon Carter.
If the Nets are to draft someone in the first round, one would hope it would be with the idea that said prospect is NBA ready.
They’re currently the title favorites for 2022, and with money only getting tighter, there may be a significant role for someone like McBride on next year’s squad.
Is he ready for the moment?
Dinwiddie’s Future May Be Determining Factor in Draft
The biggest narrative going into this Brooklyn Nets offseason will be the extension eligibility of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving.
But the next biggest item on Sean Marks’ agenda should be how the team handles Spencer Dinwiddie’s free agency.
The 28-year old guard is an unrestricted free agent, but as many have alluded to, could form a sign-and-trade deal to his next location as a means of recouping the Nets’ value.
If Marks and company feel as if the chances of that are high, they can roll the dice and hang on to the 27th pick, and push talent acquisition to the start of free agency next week.
But if there’s a sense that Dinwiddie could feel spurned by Brooklyn’s approach to his free agency, then pulling the trigger on a deal on draft night is the safe play.
His departure would also open up a hole in the Nets’ guard rotation, leaving Kyrie Irving as the only point guard.
As the saying goes, a first-round pick’s value can be cut in half from the moment right before it’s announced to when the prospect is selected.
Something Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets would be wise to keep in mind.
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