Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Billy King: We can move into first round
Unless they somehow move up, the Nets are going have a lengthy wait before they make selection in tomorrow night's NBA Draft given they don't pick until No. 57.
But Billy King is pondering the possibility of trading into first round.
"If we wanted to, we can get into the first round," the Nets GM said today at the Nets practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. "Now, it's will we? I don't know. I didn't know if we were going to move up to get MarShon [Brooks] the day before the draft [last year]. It just happened. And that's why we focus so hard on getting our rankings on how we'd take guys, not how we think it's going to go.
"If guys start falling, you sort of know how things lined up. So if I need a pick, I know what it takes to get there. If you ask right now if we're going to get in the first round, I'd say no. But that could easily change tomorrow."
King said other teams are shopping picks due to the draft's talent level.
"Last Thursday the price was very high, then as it comes closer it goes down," he said. "But I think our guys have really been working hard and looking and ranking. And then we'll evaluate as we get going in the draft. We''ll be prepared if we have to get in there."
Still, King has to weigh the pros and cons of acquiring another draft pick since it would eat into the amount of cap space he'll have to sign free agents once that begins Sunday. He said the Nets could have roughly $35 to $40 million in cap space.
"If you think that talent is worth some of your space, then you go do it," he said. "And you then may try to move a player along with getting that pick to create some space to take that contract in."
King doesn't view this draft as one overly loaded on talent.
"I think the draft became hyped as a great draft because a lot of people know the names," he said. "The Harrison Barnes’ who was supposed to come out the year before stayed, the [Jared] Sullingers stayed. So now there were more names that the media and the fans and everybody knew. Generally, those guys come out after their freshman year and they are young.
"So I think it’s a good draft. Is it a great draft? I don’t think so, but I think there is some good talent in there and I think there will be some guys taken in the second round – could be 57 or it could be in the 40s – that are projected to be better than some guys taken in the lottery."