The mock drafts have been coming fast and furious since last week's Lottery, and a look reveals some commonalities, including two predicting the Nets will opt to choose 6-foot-10 Richmond forward Justin Harper. The senior, who played for his hometown Spiders, is thought of as a stretch 4; he averaged 17.9 points on .448 shooting from three-point range and .534 overall during a breakout fourth college season.
ESPN's Chad Ford (Insider) was one of those two, writing:
Harper fits a need for New Jersey. He is big and athletic and can shoot the ball with range. After experimenting with guys like Yi Jianlian and Troy Murphy in this role over the past few years, Harper is cheaper and has more upside.
Beyond Harper, if you stretch your field of vision to the two picks ahead and the two to follow, you'll see a few others appear more than once: Maryland's Jordan Williams, USC's Nikolva Vucevic, Georgia's Trey Thompkins, UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt, Purdue's JaJuan Johnson and Providence's Marshon Brooks, along with international players Davis Bertans (Latvia) and Lucas Noguiera (Brazil).
The 2011 Draft Lottery
... Which the Nets Didn't Mind So Much
By Ben Couch
Hit up the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery last night in nearby Secaucus, N.J., mainly to see, from the studio what the vibe was like, especially with the Jazz holding the Nets' slot this year (No. 6, 75 combinations). Also, thefoodisgreat.
Spent the event tweet-happy, taking Twit-pics galore of NBA execs/players and random celebs (Bernie Kosar!), so if you want to get a feel for the room, be sure to check out my feed @viewfromcouch. Beyond that, I managed to throw a question at Commissioner Stern about how he felt Mikhail Prokhorov had progressed toward his stated goal of globalizing the Nets. Here's what he had to say:
"During the preseason, they played in China, and they stopped in Russia on the way for a clinic in Moscow. There's been a lot of publicity in the global sphere, and they've played two regular-season games in London, and you can't do much more than that, in terms of a franchise. But it's also an attitude, in terms of his understanding of the global importance of his team.
And who knows? He may be getting ready to challenge Mr. Putin for President of Russia; he announced today that he was going to (lead) a political party, so we'll see where that goes. I was trying to think whether that might disqualify him (as an owner), but I don't think so – we have a US Senator (Bucks owner Herb Kohl) and maybe we'll have a Russian Minister.
As for the Lottery itself, it was interesting to be in the studio this time, instead of watching from outside in the press room to maintain laptop usage. Didn't realize they pre-taped several segments. The TV process is always so weird to see in whole; so much editing goes into the product on-air.
What got everyone really interested was realizing, as Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver read off the picks, that both of the traded picks had jumped into the Top 3. Turned Cleveland's potentially disappointing night (their own pick dropping to No. 4) into a celebratory one when they were revealed as the winners. Though the Nets and Clippers were likely at least a little tweaked that the picks ended up in the Top 3, we know that the Nets are satisfied with their haul, from Al Iannazzone's YES Insider column:
Even if the draft has star power, you make the trade for (Deron) Williams, considering where the Nets came from, where they were and where they want to go.
So what that the Utah Jazz wound up climbing from sixth to third with the pick the Nets sent them for Williams. Utah will wind up with Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker or Enes Kanter. The Nets still have Williams.
But while O'Connor was boosted by the good fortune of the ping pong balls, he wasn't claiming any great victories. There are only so many Williams' in the basketball universe, and O'Connor doesn't see such a franchise-changer in what is widely considered a weak draft.
"Who knows (if any of the draft picks will be as good as Williams)? I know one thing. I know how good Deron Williams is. I don't think you can say that about anybody in this draft," he said.
The table below shows the results of this year's lottery. The slot (No. 8) that contained the winning combination had only a 2.8-percent chance of doing so.
Round 1 (Picks 1-30)
(From L.A. Clippers)
(From New Jersey)
(From New Orleans via Portland)
(From Memphis via Utah)
(From Orlando via Phoenix)
(From Miami via Toronto)
May 17, 2011
Lottery Luck a Non-Factor This Year
By Ben Couch
The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery takes place tonight in nearby Secaucus, N.J., though the Nets won't be participating for the first time in four seasons. Bringing in All-NBA point guard Deron Williams cost the Nets this year's collection of combinations, which totals 75 (of 1,000 total) after a tiebreaker went to the Kings, who also finished 24-58.
That offers Utah (39-43) a final tally of 82 combinations – they own seven more at their own slot, No. 12. The Nets are left with the Lakers' pick, No. 27 overall, and their own second-rounder, which will be either No. 35 or 36, depending on whether the Kings or Jazz finish higher in the lottery. So some mild intrigue there.
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