Friday, June 24, 2011

Rookie bigs can make immediate impact

2011 NBA Draft: New Jersey Nets trade with Boston Celtics for Providence guard MarShon Brooks

Providence's Marshon Brooks is now a member of the New Jersey Nets.
Corey Sipkin/News
Providence's Marshon Brooks is now a member of the New Jersey Nets.
Billy King saw his target slip down the board at last night's NBA draft in Newark, much further than anybody in his war room anticipated. He had an earlier opportunity to trade up for MarShon Brooks, but it passed.
Still, as NBA commissioner David Stern called out names, Brooks was staying available.
When King finally nabbed the Providence guard with the 25th pick Thursday - trading up two spots - the Nets GM felt he left the draft with a steal.
"We were just surprised and shocked he was there," King said. "We had him ranked 15th on our board."

In a whirlwind 30 minutes, King lived up to his reputation as a draft-day dealer, trading with the Celtics for the draft rights to Brooks and getting the 31st pick to take Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic. Five spots later, King completed his first draft with the Nets by taking Maryland power forward Jordan Williams.
Brooks, who averaged 24.6 points in his senior season for the Friars, is the most NBA-ready of the bunch. King and coach Avery Johnson both said the 22-year-old will compete with Anthony Morrow for the starting two-guard position. His arrival presumably squeezes out Sasha Vujacic, a free agent who has expressed his desire to re-sign with the Nets.
"We weren't very athletic at the two position and we needed guys that could run and jump and shoot and score and play defense," Johnson said. "(Brooks) can do that."
Brooks is a questionable defender, but the Nets gave up their lone first-round pick to the Celtics, along with a 2014 second-round pick. He never worked out for the Nets in the pre-draft cycle, at least not publicly. He was scheduled for a June 9 workout but backed out with an injury.
The Nets received the 31st pick from the Timberwolves for cash and took a gamble on Bogdanovich, who is under contract with a team in Turkey. Barring a buyout, the 22-year-old won't be available for at least a year. He was one of the top scorers in the Euroleague last season after scoring 17 points for Croatia against Team USA in the World Championships.
Williams, 6-9, 260 pounds, averaged nearly 12 rebounds for the Terps last season.
"That's one thing that's been proven - if you rebound in college, you'll rebound in the pros," King said. "Looking at our bigs, once we got MarShon, we felt getting Jordan is somebody that's proven, that knows how to rebound."
Despite winning just 24 games last season, the Nets weren't on the board until 2-1/2 hours into the draft. They traded a first-rounder, which became the third overall pick, in February to the Jazz in a package for Deron Williams. Utah selected Kentucky forward Enes Kanter.Read more

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