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2021 NBA Draft Profiles: Brooklyn Nets

Nets 2021 draft

The 2021 NBA Draft will take place on July 29. As the draft approaches, The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each NBA squad will be analyzed, team needs will be addressed and potential targets will be discussed.

The Brooklyn Nets are the subject of today’s 2021 NBA Draft Profile.

Summary

The Brooklyn Nets are still the most talented team in basketball. They have three of the top fifteen players in the league. There is even an argument to say that they all fall in the top ten. Regardless, this team is stacked and if it were not for injuries would likely be taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy. They still managed to take a very good Bucks team to a seven-game series with Kyrie Irving out and James Harden essentially playing on one leg. If Kevin Durant wears a shoe size one smaller they make it to the Eastern

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Conference Finals.

They will surely be back next year. Their big three is all under contract. They will have to make decisions regarding some of their key role players such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Blake Griffin, Jeff Green, and Bruce Brown, but the majority of the key parts of the roster will be returning.

The Nets have four picks in this upcoming draft and there is no way that they bring in four different rookies to this roster, so it is likely they package these together to either move up in the draft or trade for a solid veteran contributor on a cheap contract. For this draft profile though, we will be operating under the assumption that they will be making all of these picks.

2021 Draft Picks

First Round (one pick):

Pick No. 27

Second Round (three picks):

Picks No. 44, 49, 59

Team Needs

Perimeter Defense: The backcourt of Irving and Harden is not going to be known for their defense. While Harden is no longer the laughingstock he used to be on defense, it would still be hard to call him a good defender. The team finished 27th in steals per game. With the nets likely to lose Bruce Brown due to him likely demanding a larger contract in restricted free agency, they need all of the defenders that they can get.

Rim Protection: Kevin Durant was the team’s leading shot blocker. This is not at all a knock on Durant as a defender, but rather on the bigs he was playing alongside. Deandre Jordan looks way past being an effective NBA starter, and Nicolas Claxton still looks very raw. With extended minutes Claxton could be the answer, but as of right now the team struggles to defend the paint.

Depth: It is hard to really nitpick anything else wrong with the Nets, but depth for a team like this is key. Their roster this past season had a solid amount of depth, but not enough to withstand all the injuries to key players. When the injuries hit, the remaining stars were forced to heavily carry the load. This then puts those stars at injury risk. Overall, a team with stars with injury history is going to need a lot of depth.

Projected Targets

Pick No. 27: Ayo Dosunmu, PG, University of Illinois

One of the best players in college basketball season joins a Brooklyn Nets team hoping to contribute right

Image courtesy of chicagotribune.com

away. Dosunmu is a big point guard that could play either backcourt position. He falls this late in the draft because he does not necessarily excel at any one thing. He is a jack of all trades. For a team like the

Brooklyn Nets, this is a good thing.

With Spencer Dinwiddie hurt and likely to leave in free agency, the Nets lacked a true backup point guard. Dosunmu can step into that role right away. He will come into the league a solid defender, average playmaker, and okay shooter. He should be a nice steadying presence for the Nets’ second unit.

Pick No. 44: Rokas Jokubaitis, PG, Lithuania

With four draft picks it makes sense for a team like the Brooklyn Nets to take a draft and stash guy. Jokubaitis is under contract for one more year overseas so it is unlikely that he makes the jump to the NBA for next season. He is very reminiscent of Goran Dragic. They are both tall lefty point guards that are limited athletically, but good shooting ability and is a crafty finished around the rim

With this pick, the Nets are probably leaning towards planning for the future. Jokubaitis is unlikely to contribute on any of these Nets teams involving the big three. He can come along slowly and in Europe and be a part of the next phase Brooklyn Nets roster.

Pick No. 49: Jericho Sims, C, University of Texas

Sims is a great athlete with an NBA-ready body standing at 6’10” and 250lbs with a 7’3.5″ wingspan. That alone will allow him to get a couple of easy buckets in the league just off of diving to the rim and putbacks. The Nets will use him simply to set hard screens, roll to the basket, and protect the rim. It is a very simplified role that Sims is capable of doing.

Pick No. 59: Makur Maker, PF, Howard University

This late in the draft it is very unlikely someone who is going to help a team win a championship right away

Image courtesy of hbcugameday.com

will be found. Drafting this late the Nets will look to the future. Maker has a lot of the same intrigue as his brother, Thon, did when coming into the draft. They are both seven-footers who are capable of handling the ball and are confident in their outside shot. Thon getting picked with the tenth overall pick obviously did not work out, so teams are a lot more cautious with Makur. While it is likely he never sees an NBA floor, taking a swing on him this late is worth the risk.

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