The Draft Lottery is complete, the order is set and that means it is time for everyone’s mock draft to become a reality. The NBA Draft is just a little over three weeks away and for our beloved Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are coming off yet another disappointing season in which they missed the playoffs. However, it should be noted that since the departure of players such as Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, just to name a few, recent Brooklyn teams have not had the talent on their roster to compete with stronger playoff-caliber teams in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are trying to re-create a winning culture they once had back in 2012. The process will begin in the draft.
With a lot of talent coming from the college scene this year, here are a few players that may hear their name called when Brooklyn is up to make their pick. Let’s start with Villanova shooting guard Donte Divincenzo. Arguably the hottest name being connected with the Nets, Divincenzo emerged into the national spotlight after his tremendous performance in the National Championship game this past March where he dropped 31 points against Michigan. Divincenzo spent three years with the Wildcats. Another player on the team’s radar is Boston College guard Jerome Robinson. The 6-foot-6 guard started every game he played for BC over three seasons. His best year was his junior year where he averaged 20.7 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting from the field and, oh yes, the kid has some range to his game as he also shot 40.9 percent from the three-point line. He finished second in the voting for the top ACC Player of the Year to Duke’s Marvin Bagley who could potentially go No. 1 overall in the draft. That could very well be appealing for Brooklyn with the 29th pick. Another player to watch for is Kentucky’s young phenom Hamidou Diallo. Diallo is a 6-foot-5 guard who played just one season for John Calipari. He is a New York City kid hailing from Queens. In his single season with the Wildcats (of Kentucky), Diallo averaged 10.0 points a game, shooting 43 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three-point line.
Of course, these mock drafts will change drastically as the “real” draft approaches. Although the Nets first-round pick is a high one, they could very well get the steal of the draft based on who is the best player available at No. 29 overall. Yes, this Brooklyn team has a long way to go as far as returning a winning atmosphere to the Barclays Center. Only time will tell as far as what direction the team will be moving in with the draft and free agency looming.
Sports Notes: (Basketball) With LeBron James, Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George looming their futures as restricted and unrestricted free agents, does a New York-based team have the chance to grab one of these top stars on a max contract? E-mail me at Castroeddie714@gmail.com and let’s have the conversation.