The NBA Draft is a little more than a month away and could be an interesting time for the Nets, who are retooling after a major change in direction for the organization. Attention on the draft is already picking up steam with the combine coming to an end in Chicago.
The Nets have three total picks in this year’s draft, which includes two in the first round thanks to the Kevin Durant trade back in February. The Nets could do a variety of things with those picks including trading them.
Nets executives are in Chicago and have met with several players during the Combine. Let’s take a look at some of the names the Nets could take in the first round with the 21st and 22nd overall picks.
G.G. Jackson, PF/C, South Carolina
The 6-foot-9 freshman out of South Carolina has appeared on several mock drafts as someone the Nets might take. His size and athleticism make him an intriguing pick for Brooklyn, but he is more of a project pick than a right-now player shooting below 40% from the field last season and having some of the rawest talent in the draft. He has had a good showing at the NBA Combine this week, which could help his draft stock.
Kris Murray, F, Iowa
The first-team All-Big Ten selection is projected to be a mid-first-round pick this year after averaging 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. Kris Murray shares similar traits to his brother Keegan Murray who was an impact player for the Sacramento Kings this season. Kris may not have the same impact that Keegan has had so far in the NBA, but Kris is expected to be a quality role player who has shot the ball well from beyond the arc, which has obviously been a focal point for the Nets under Jacque Vaughn.
Maxwell Lewis, F, Pepperdine
Another name that has been popping up in mock drafts for the Nets, Maxwell Lewis is someone that can knock down shots from the mid-range and three-point range. Lewis shot 46.8% from the field and 34.8% from beyond the arc for Pepperdine, but shot just 21.4% from beyond the arc in their final 10 games of the year. His stats — 17.1 points per game, 5.7 boards per game and 2.8 assists per game — and playmaking ability are impressive, but the combine will give teams a better gauge of what he could do at the NBA level.
Jalen Hood-Schifino, G, Indiana
Jalen Hood-Schifino is a well-rounded prospect who won the Big Ten’s Rookie of the Year award and while he’s an inconsistent spot-up shooter, he showed solid ability to hit pull-up shots off of the dribble and make good passes.
Bilal Coulibaly, SF, France
Bilal Coulibaly has shown off when people came to see his teammate and projects as a potential NBA Defensive Player of the Year candidate who has explosive athleticism and has shown flashes of shot-making. He is also a teammate of projected No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama.
Rayan Rupert, G, New Zealand Breakers
The 6-foot-6 guard has made his calling card his defensive play during his one season in the NBL. He’s been projected to go to the Nets in several mock drafts and has impressed with his on-ball defense and ability to get into passing lanes. He has also shown that he can handle the ball well in transition and shot defcently from beyond the arch and at the free throw line.
Jordan Hawkins, SG, UConn
The shooting guard helpd the Huskies win the national title in April and could fall close to where the Nets are picking in the draft, He has met with the team during the combine and his shooting and defensive ability would help any team that he goes to. The Nets, who are team that relies heavily on the three ball, are sure to like his near 38% shooting percentage from three-point land and has the potential to be a really strong 2-guard in the NBA.
Jett Howard, SF, Michigan
Another player that the Nets have met with at the combine, Howard was projected to fall to Brooklyn with the No. 22 pick by The Athletic. Howard is a great shooter having averaged 14.0 points per game last season and shot 37% from three.
Eric Samulski contributed to this report.