Monday, May 22, 2023

Brooklyn Nets Post-Lottery 2023 NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, we will update our Brooklyn Nets Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Brooklyn Nets from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Nets:

The Rookie Wire — Cody Taylor (5/19)

21. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Whitehead recently underwent a second surgery on his foot to correct a previous procedure, but he is expected to be ready for the start of next season. He sought out multiple opinions on the injury and is hopeful he can finally put it behind him. While he never really looked 100% on the court this past season, he still showed flashes of what made him so highly recruited.

He averaged 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and one assist on 42.9% shooting from 3-point range. He finished second in the ACC in 3-point percentage, and it was the fifth-highest mark of any freshman in program history. He showed that he can be a three-level scorer at the next level and put up points in a hurry. Teams will certainly look into his foot injury, but assuming that checks out, Whitehead will be a first-round pick.

22. Bobi Klintman, Wake Forest

Klintman has climbed draft boards early in the pre-draft process given his size and potential. He withdrew from the draft combine this week, sparking rumors that he may have received a first-round promise from a team. Nonetheless, he is viewed as one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.

His counting stats don't necessarily jump off the page — 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds on 36.8% shooting from 3-point range — but he can do a little bit of everything. He is still raw in terms of his ability, but developing in an NBA system will certainly help him in the future. With a couple of picks in this range, the Nets could be a team to target him.

CBS Sports — Gary Parrish (5/17)

21. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina

Jackson is one of the youngest players in this draft, in part because he reclassified and enrolled at South Carolina a year early. He was off the radar much of the season because he played for a bad team, but the former top-ranked recruit showed enough to keep NBA front offices interested in his obvious talent.

22. Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

Miller had a nice season with the G-League Ignite, averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds as a 19 year-old playing against professionals. There's still a lot of development that needs to be done, but the physical tools to make it are all in place.

Sporting News — Kyle Irving (5/17)

21. Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

The Nets have back-to-back picks in the first round. They'll aim to fill out their roster with young talent after trading both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this past season and Bufkin would be a steal this late.

Bufkin was a late riser in this draft cycle, really finding his groove as Big Ten play went on for Michigan. The 19-year-old is a prolific scorer who showed significant improvement as a playmaker during his sophomore season. He's a true combo guard with the ability to score from all three levels, play with or without the ball in his hands and elevate his teammates as a passer.

It was a bit of a surprise that Bufkin declared for the draft, so don't be surprised if his stock rises even higher with the NBA Draft Combine and individual workouts underway.

22. Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

With the second of back-to-back first-round picks, the Nets could use a versatile forward and workhorse like Miller in their frontcourt.

Miller thrived in a new role with the Ignite this season, becoming more of a grinder on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-10 forward defended at a high level and excelled offensively as a cutter and offensive rebounder. Averaging 18.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.7 stocks (steals + blocks) per game, Miller has gotten comfortable with the responsibilities he'll hold at the next level, which has only helped his draft stock.

The Athletic — Sam Vecenie (5/16)

21. Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

The Scout: Few freshmen in college basketball were as productive this past season as Sensabaugh, averaging 16 points while shooting 48 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 83 percent from the line. Beyond that, he's a terrific shot creator who is excellent at separating just enough and really sharp as a tough-shot maker. So what is the concern? First, Sensabaugh struggled a bit after teams started to key on him as the first option. Over his final 12 games, he shot just 44 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3. He also struggled defensively, and teams routinely attacked him. Still, Sensabaugh is a remarkable prospect as a scorer. Over the last 30 years in college hoops, only seven other freshmen averaged 16 points while shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3. The only one who wasn't a first-round pick was Jason Kapono, and he went No. 31.

The Fit: The Nets need offensive players. More than anything, they need creators who can actually get their own offense. I'm a little skeptical Sensabaugh will be able to do that from day one, but with his ability to create contact to separate then elevate over the top of defensive players with his high release point, the ceiling at least exists for him to be a valuable scoring threat. He would also provide a bit of insurance for Cam Johnson, who is a restricted free agent this offseason and figures to be incredibly popular because of his own elite shooting ability and the dearth of other options.

22. Jett Howard, Michigan

The Scout: I'm a bit lower on Howard than most, but let's mention the good first on why he's projected to be taken in the first round. He's a tremendous shot maker and shooter who has some of the best shot prep in this draft, which allows him to be a genuine threat off NBA-caliber actions. Michigan ran a ton of Zoom and Pistol actions, using him in dribble handoffs. The Wolverines ran him off screening actions regularly to try to get him loose. He's a teenager who averaged 14 points and hit 37 percent from 3 on high volume and also showcased the ability to relocate and score from the midrange. Here's the issue: Michigan was about seven points per 100 possessions better when Howard was off the court because he was such a negative defender. He can't move in space and also isn't strong enough now to guard down the lineup. He has a ways to go on that end.

The Fit: Brooklyn is in an extremely strange place right now and should be taking upside fliers on as many wings as possible. Rinse, repeat on the above "Fit" blurb for Brooklyn on how they need to continue to hunt scoring and shot-making upside.

Yahoo! Sports — Krysten Peek (5/16)

21. Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

At just 19 years old, Miller is averaging a double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds) in the G League against former professionals and players much older than him. He will need to improve as a shooter, but Miller has the tools to be an impact player at the next level with his 7-2 wingspan.

22. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina

The Nets have been successful developing young, raw players in the past like Cam Thomas, who in his third season became the youngest player in NBA history to score 40-plus points in three consecutive games. Jackson is one of the youngest players in this draft class, after reclassifying up a grade and committing to South Carolina a year earlier. He shows good upside as a rim protector and has a solid midrange game, averaging 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds during his freshman year.

Bleacher Report — Jonathan Wasserman (5/16)

21. Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

Brooklyn could pair Spencer Dinwiddie with another wing-sized ball-handler in Hood-Schifino, whose NBA fanbase gradually grew with his budding flashes of pull-up shot-making and flashy passes. He'll get looks earlier than this in the late lottery and teens.

22. Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92

With two first-round picks, the Nets could use one to swing for the fences on Coulibaly. The 18-year-old explosive leaper and shot-maker often popped next to Victor Wembanyama.

SB Nation — Ricky O'Donnell (5/16)

21. Rayan Rupert, New Zealand Breakers

Rupert is a young French wing with ridiculous length who could profile as a high-impact defensive stopper down the road. At 6'6 with a 7'3 wingspan, Rupert impressed scouts with his on-ball defense and ability to get into the passing lanes while playing in Australia's NBL. His halfcourt offense is mostly limited to catch-and-shoot opportunities at this point, where he's shown decent touch but still has progress to make after hitting 31.3 percent of his threes and 74 percent of his free throws. Rupert can handle the ball in transition and reportedly showed good feel offensively, but there's no doubt defense will be his calling card to make it in the league.

22. Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

Lewis is a spindly wing who can create his own shot with an advanced package of offensive moves, and still feels like he's growing into both his body and his skill set. At 6'7 with a 6'10 wingspan, Lewis is a gifted one-on-one scoring prospect who can fire pull-up jumpers from mid-range and three-point territory. The Pepperdine sophomore has long strides and real flexibility around the basket when he breaks down the defense, and made pro-level shots throughout his breakdown campaign. While his deep shooting numbers aren't great — 32.5 percent from three on 120 attempts — the stepback Lewis often goes to looks the part and could become a major weapon with more seasoning. There are questions about his playmaking and defensive impact, but there could be some hidden upside in a tall wing prospect with this type of shot creation ability.

CBS Sports — Kyle Boone (5/16)

21. Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State

As a four-star prospect ranked 85th in his class, Sensabaugh wasn't even on the one-and-done radar entering the season. But his production with Ohio State is tough to ignore. Uses his big frame well and smashed in his role as a rotation piece hitting 40.5% of his 3-pointers on the year.

22. Leonard Miller, G League Ignite

Miller tested the NBA Draft waters and had some first-round buzz before ultimately withdrawing and committing to the G League Ignite. Now he's built upon that momentum as a scorer and rebounder who, while still a tad raw, has the physical tools and size to warrant mid-to-late lottery consideration.

For the Win — Bryan Kalbrosky (5/16)

21. Bobi Klintman, Wake Forest

Sweden's Bobi Klintman could be the "mystery man" of the 2023 NBA Draft. He is arguably one of the most interesting prospects currently testing the waters, though he will not return to Wake Forest. He opted to pull out of the 2023 NBA Draft Combine, keeping the aura of mystique strong.

Klintman is a 6-foot-10 wing who can dribble, pass, and shoot and his upside is outstanding.

He averaged 16.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.6 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game for Sweden at the U20 Euro Championship B in 2022, via Cerebro Sports. He also played well down the stretch for Wake Forest, notching 17 points and 11 rebounds with 1 steal and 1 block during a win over Syracuse in the ACC Conference Tournament.

22. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina

G.G. Jackson is the youngest player in this draft class, and he won't even yet turn 19 years old when the next NBA season begins. Once the consensus best collegiate prospect in his class, Jackson decided to forgo his senior year of high school and reclassify to play for South Carolina last season.

South Carolina struggled defensively during minutes when Jackson was on the court, but the SEC All-Freshman forward is a promising upside swing for a team willing to bet on his continued development.

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