Brooklyn Nets Select Four Players in 2021 NBA Draft, Acquire Draft Rights to Day’Ron Sharpe
BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets selected guard Cameron Thomas with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft, forward Kessler Edwards with the 44th pick in the second round, guard Marcus Zegarowski with the 49th pick and forward RaiQuan Gray with the 59th pick. Additionally, Brooklyn agreed in principle to acquire the draft rights to center Day’Ron Sharpe, the 29th overall pick in the first round of the draft, from the Phoenix Suns in a trade that has yet to be finalized.
Thomas (6’4”, 210) spent one year at LSU, where he appeared in and started 29 games, recording averages of 23.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 34.0 minutes per game. Thomas scored 25 or more points 16 times in his lone collegiate season, representing the most 25-point games for a freshman in the SEC over the last 25 seasons, and was the leading scorer among all NCAA Division I freshmen. He led the nation in free throws made (194), led the SEC in free-throw percentage (88.2 percent) and finished first in the SEC and seventh in the nation in field goals made (203). Thomas also appeared in both of LSU’s NCAA Tournament games, averaging 28.5 points per contest. The 19-year-old native of Chesapeake, Va., earned All-SEC First Team honors, All-SEC Freshman team honors and was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American.
Sharpe (6’11”, 265) spent one year at the University of North Carolina, appearing in 29 games (four starts), while averaging 9.5 points on 51.9 percent shooting from the field, 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.1 minutes per game en route to ACC All-Freshman team honors. The ACC’s leading offensive rebounder (3.4 per game) and the nation’s leader in offensive rebound percentage (18.3 percent), Sharpe finished second in voting for both ACC Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year. He registered six double-doubles, scored in double figures 12 times and grabbed double digit rebounds in eight games. The 19-year-old native of Greenville, N.C., tied for the team lead in blocked shots (26), ranked second on the Tar Heels in rebounds per game and finished third in steals (23).
Edwards (6’8”, 215) appeared in 93 games (85 starts) across three years (2018-21) at Pepperdine, registering averages of 13.4 points on 47.7 percent shooting from the field, 38.7 percent from 3-point range and 78.8 percent from the free-throw line, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. As a junior, he saw action in 27 games (26 starts), posting averages of 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals in 33.9 minutes per contest. Edwards was an All-WCC First Team selection as a junior, All-WCC Second Team selection as a sophomore and was named to the WCC All-Freshman team after his first season. The 20-year-old native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., finished his collegiate career in Pepperdine’s top-10 in blocked shots (127), free-throw percentage (78.8 percent) and 3-pointers made (148).
Zegarowski (6’2”, 180) played in 92 games (75 starts) across three years (2018-21) at Creighton, recording averages of 14.1 points on 47.1 percent shooting from the field, 42.3 percent from 3-point range and 77.2 percent from the free-throw line, 3.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.2 minutes per contest. In his junior season, he appeared in and started 29 games for the Bluejays, posting averages of 15.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. Zegarowski was an All Big East First Team selection as a junior, All-Big East Second Team selection as a sophomore and was named to the Big East All Freshman team after his first season. The 22-year-old native of Hamilton, Mass., finished his collegiate career in Creighton’s top-10 in 3-pointers made (215) and 3-point percentage (42.3 percent).
Gray (6’8”, 260) spent three collegiate seasons at Florida State University (2018-21), appearing in 89 games (52 starts) and averaging 6.9 points on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 73.2 percent from the free-throw line, 3.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals in 18.7 minutes per game. In his final season with the Seminoles as a junior, Gray averaged career highs of 11.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.3 minutes on his way to earning Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American honors as well as to the All-ACC Third Team. The 22-year-old native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was a part of two runs to the NCAA Sweet 16 (2019, 2021) with the Seminoles and helped lead the team to its first ever regular season ACC Championship in 2020.