The Brooklyn Nets have quietly rebuilt their NBA Draft stock

NBA Brooklyn Nets Sean Marks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets Sean Marks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Following the abysmal 2014 trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Brooklyn Nets have been quietly rebuilding their draft stock for the upcoming years

The Brooklyn Nets moved from Newark to Brooklyn in 2012. They made an immediate splash in the pool of NBA culture – making the playoffs their first three years at the Barclays Center gave New York a new team that could potentially rival the New York Knicks.

Despite making the playoffs the first two years in Brooklyn, the Nets record declined each consecutive season. Trying to bolster their core roster of Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, and Deron Williams, the Nets traded for future hall of famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Brooklyn saw the move as an opportunity to put themselves over the top in the East. Confident in their ability to remain a contender over the next five years, the Nets not only sent four of their own players in the blockbuster deal, but they also sent their first round picks for the 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 NBA Draft.

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Unfortunately, the Nets began to crumble as the 2014-15 season progressed. Brooklyn ended the year with a losing record (38-44), but still squeezed into the playoffs. The then 38 year-old Kevin Garnett fell victim to father time. He averaged only 6.8 points and rebounds per game in the 42 games he was there, and eventually ended the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Paul Pierce was serviceable while he was a Net (13.5 ppg and 4.6 rpg), but he left for Washington at the end of the 2013-14 season.

Simply put: the trade did not go as planned for the Nets. After the quick departure of both Garnett and Pierce, Brooklyn fell to the bottom of the NBA ranks. The Nets have had one of the worst record in the association over the past three years.

As a result of the trade, Brooklyn hasn’t been able to use the draft to capitalize on their poor seasons. Rather, the Boston Celtics have turned the Nets’ first round picks into Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving/Colin Sexton (the 2018 Brooklyn pick was traded to Cleveland in the Irving/Thomas swap). If the Nets had not traded away all of their future assets in that horrid 2014 deal, Brooklyn could be the future of the east.

However, the 2018 NBA Draft marked the end of the Nets’ debt to Boston, and not improving much on their roster, Brooklyn may finally be able to capitalize on their basketball shortcomings. The Nets will most likely be poised to take a player in the first half of the lottery in the 2019 Draft. While not much is known about the incoming class of Freshmen that will make up a large part of the NBA Draft, the Nets will be able to secure a top tier young talent for the first time since they selected Derrick Favors third overall in 2010.

In addition to their own pick, the Nets have quietly been rebuilding their draft stock. This offseason Brooklyn has added three picks for the upcoming 2019 draft, including the Denver Nuggets first round pick (which will likely fall between the 12-20 region). With two first round picks and two second round picks, the Nets have the opportunity to completely retool their roster.

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Brooklyn has also acquired two second round picks for the 2020 draft from Denver and Portland, further boosting their draft stock.

While the Brooklyn Nets made one of the worst trades in NBA history in 2014, they have been able to recover well, pending their 2019 and 2020 draft selections.