NBA Draft Lottery 2010 Preview (1 of 9)

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NBA Draft Preview

May 14, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—With the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery scheduled for Tuesday on ESPN, asked participating teams to weigh in on lottery-related questions about their respective squads. Check out what each team thinks about its needs, what would happen if it finished in the top three of the lottery and whether luck has been on its side before.

New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets
Ben Couch,

Lottery Slot: 1

Team Needs: The Nets are set at center with Brook Lopez and have a former All-Star at the point in Devin Harris. Courtney Lee worked through a tough start to earn a prominent future role in the swingman rotation, with the bulk of his time coming at the 2.

That leaves the quickest road to improvement traveling through the two forward spots, though rookie Terrence Williams came on strong at the 3 toward the end of the year and established himself as part of the team’s developing core.

President Rod Thorn has previously mentioned the benefits of bringing a tough-defending, volume-rebounding “moose” to play alongside Brook Lopez, which would certainly complement Yi Jianlian and Kris Humphries in the forward rotation while stiffening a porous D. Athleticism could be a deciding factor, because the key returning players are all impressive in transition.

If the Nets finish in the top three of the lottery... they’ll be in good shape, though the 12-win season has everybody hoping for that first pick. It’s all about options, especially with the talent at the top of this draft: Wall, Turner, Favors, Cousins, Johnson, Aminu … the list of one-name recognition goes on. With no coach (yet), but a solid young core along with a ton of cap space, a top-three pick would make the Nets even more attractive to prospective coaches and free agents.

Lottery Luck: The Nets previously won the No. 1 pick in 1990 (
Derrick Coleman, when they held the most chances) and 2000 (Kenyon Martin, when they were 7th). Another 10 years have passed, so perhaps we know how this is going to go …

Beyond that, the Nets have done well recently despite not moving up, tabbing Brook Lopez (No. 10) and Terrence Williams (No. 11) the last two years. The last time they were in the lottery before that was back in 2001, when they dropped from No. 6 to No. 7, but parlayed pick Eddie Griffin into Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong. Other than the two top picks, they’ve scored top-three selections two other times, drafting
Kenny Anderson No. 2 (up from No. 4) in 1991 and Dennis Hopson No. 3 in 1987. They moved up from No. 5 to No. 4 in 1988 and snared Chris Morris.

Next: Minnesota Timberwolves

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