For the Brooklyn Nets rebuild to continue forward, they’re going to need to snag the right guy in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Brooklyn Nets won’t have a lottery pick, but they will have a late first round pick. The Nets are still feeling the effects of the infamous Billy King trade with Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics that left the organization high and dry for years to come. The 2018 NBA Draft will mark the last year that the Nets will be without their first round pick.
Although they won’t have a coveted lottery pick, they acquired the Toronto Raptors first round pick. It looks like they will have the 28th or possibly the 29th pick in the draft—depending on how the injury-plagued Warriors fare down the stretch. Brooklyn will have some options at the bottom of the first round, but they should give an especially long look at a few players that could be late-round steals.
They’re hoping to add a solid piece with this pick to move the rebuild forward. It’s not always easy to snag one at the bottom of the draft, but it’s certainly not unheard. In fact, the Nets may have drafted a rotational type player late in the 2017 draft. Jarrett Allen out of Texas has shown flashes this season and could be a key part of the Nets future. Since joining the starting lineup on January 30th, Allen has averaged 11.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Those stats may not blow anyone away, but for a rookie on a bad team, he’s shown promise thus far. The Nets hope to have similar results with their next draft class.
Shake Milton – (SG/PG – SMU)
The junior out of Southern Methodist University brings versatility and the ability to do a little bit of everything on the court. He can score, he shoots the three well, and he can defend multiple positions. He is a well-rounded basketball player and sometimes, that’s all you can hope for at the bottom of the draft. He doesn’t get to the rim as much as you’d like for someone with his size, but he makes up for it with his outside shooting. In his three years at SMU, he never shot lower than 42 percent from behind the arc.
Milton is an interesting option for the Nets and teams have found success in drafting older, more experienced players in the late first round, early second round parts of the draft.
Bruce Brown – (SG – Miami)
Brown is a similar player to Milton in many ways. Although he’s only a sophomore, he’ll be 22 at the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season. Much like Milton, Brown does a little bit of everything. He can score, defend, and he rebounds exceptionally well for his size. He’s going to need to improve his outside shooting to take his game to the next level, but he has the ability to make shots off the catch. Hopefully, he can continue to improve his pull-up and his ability to shoot it off the bounce.
Brown’s defensive upside and excellent athleticism make him an interesting option for the Nets at the bottom of the first round. He possesses all the physical tools of an NBA rotational player. If he were to fall to Brooklyn, they may have found a solid rotational piece that every team needs.
Hamidou Diallo – (SG – Kentucky)
Diallo is an intriguing option for the Nets if he falls towards the bottom of the first round. Highly touted out of high school, Diallo has had an up-and-down freshman season at Kentucky. That being said, his ceiling is higher than either Milton or Brown. He has freakish athleticism paired with a high motor. Although he hasn’t shown himself to be a consistent shooter, this is something he could develop over time.
Diallo is only 19 years old and perhaps he is a bigger risk than Milton or Brown, but he has the upside that makes that risk worth it. If he falls to the Nets, they would be foolish not to take that risk. Not to mention, Diallo is a local kid from Queens so he would be right at home in Brooklyn.