2012 Draft Central - Nets Make Moves, Add 3 in 2nd

June 27, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—At the 2012 NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets made two trades, adding picks No. 41 and 54 to their existing selection at 57. They ended up taking Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor and foreign forwards Tornike Shengelia and Ilkan Karaman.

Billy King

The picks gradually appeared on the board, with the 2012 NBA Draft crawling toward No. 57 at a pace dragging nearly 10 minutes behind last year's. It proved too slow for Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, who purchased the rights to Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor, the No. 41 overall pick, from the Trail Blazers.

Thirteen picks later "Trader Billy" struck again, snagging the rights to the 54th pick, Georgian-born forward Tornike Shengelia, from the 76ers for cash considerations. Three after that, King used the franchise's first official "Brooklyn" selection to draft 22-year-old forward Ilkan Karaman from Turkey.

"I would've liked to get higher," King said. "But we had some guys we targeted specifically, and we got 'em."

King believes the 6-foot-3 Taylor can play some off-guard, and will be groomed long-term by coach Avery Johnson as a point guard. Taylor, a native of Hoboken, N.J., started all four years at Kansas, earning AP Third Team All-America and All Big 12 First Team recognition as a senior. He averaged 16.6 points, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 2011-12, finishing his college career 14th on the Jayhawks' all-time points list.

Though the GM said it was a coincidence Taylor was from the local area, King was attracted by the versatility Taylor offered at both guard positions. That he had played through his senior year fell in line with King's second-round draft history, and a belief that players who remember being "yelled at as freshmen" learn to be part of a team and win as they develop.

"With (Tyshawn's) pedigree, with the big games he'd played in, we thought he'd be good," King said. "We had him ranked high, and once we saw him starting to slide, we started maneuvering to get there."

The 20-year-old Shengelia soon followed, with King citing his length and scoring ability as reasons for adding the Georgian forward, who's played on his home country's National Team since 2008. In 2011-12, he played for Belgacom Spirou in Belgium, averaging 8.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 18.4 minutes in 20 Belgium League games.

Given a chance to "draft-and-stash" foreign players in a way he wasn't in Philadelphia, King hopes to emulate teams like the Spurs who have successfully developed prospects overseas to maintain a regular infusion of quality talent late in the draft.

"You have their rights and get to watch them develop and grow," King said. "I think he has a chance to get better. He can score the basketball; he knows how to get to the rim."

Then, three picks from the finale, King tabbed 6-foot-10 forward Karaman, whom he first scouted playing against Deron Williams in the Turkish League last fall. For the season, Karaman averaged 10.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in 23 minutes per game for Galatasaray.

"I had a chance to see (Ilkan) play against Deron down in Izmir," King said. "(International Scout) Danko Cvjeticanin and I like him - he's big, he's strong. The goal is to keep him over there for a while, let him progress and develop."

For more on the 2012 NBA Draft, check out Draft Central, presented by Party City.


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