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2022 Brooklyn Nets draft picks, mock draft, and ideal scenarios

Jason Burgos
brooklyn nets, kyrie irving
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets draft will be one of several key questions for the team heading into the offseason. Luckily for them, despite minimal roster change options, if they are able to return the same group they ended the season with and healthy, they should be a sure-fire contender to win the Eastern Conference in 2022-2023.

The 2021-2022 Nets were a mess. Kyrie Irving missed more than half of the season due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine and New York City mandates. The situation led to issues in the locker room and James Harden finding his way out of town and to Philadelphia. The organization received young All-Star Ben Simmons in return and he didn’t suit up once. Kevin Durant missed close to 30 games and it all culminated in barely reaching the playoffs and being quickly bounced by the Celtics in four games.

Suffice to say, it was a very disappointing campaign. They now enter the offseason unsure if Irving will opt into the next year of his deal and quite a few roster spots to fill. The team also has a choice to make about the NBA Draft. In their deal with the 76ers, they have the option of taking Philly’s selection at 23. Considering their lack of depth and youth, the organization should seriously consider using the pick.

Related: Kyrie Irving’s Brooklyn Nets future up in the air

Assuming they do make a selection in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft, let’s take a look at who that selection might be and some other roster changes that could come in the next few months.

2022 Brooklyn Nets draft picks

  • 1st round: 17th overall (Traded to Houston)
  • 1st round: 23rd overall from Philadelphia (Team must decide in early June if they want the pick)
  • 2nd round: 46th pick (Traded to Detroit)

Brooklyn Nets draft Christian Koloko or Kendall Brown

brooklyn nets, kyrie irving
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

With the majority of the Nets’ front court no longer under contract, the team will need to find some size for next season. Having Durant and Irving on the squad means the team will never lack for offense, however, the defense has been a problem for several years.

Assuming Ben Simmons is back and fully healthy, he would finally give Brooklyn a strong perimeter defender. If the organization did use the 23rd pick in the draft, taking Arizona center Christian Koloko might be a smart move towards getting defense at the rim as well. The seven-footer is 221 pounds and has an NBA-ready body. He’s a strong rebounder and a talented shot blocker. A lineup featuring Durant, Irving, Simmons, and Koloko might make the Nets that much more of a complete team and something to take seriously on both sides of the ball.

Another option could be Baylor forward Kendall Brown. The 6-foot-8, 205-pounder is a fantastic athlete and runs the floor well. In the system that head coach Steve Nash runs, he would slot in nicely as a player that can finish at the basket, get difficult rebounds, and bring energy to the lineup as a starter or off the bench. All needs the team will have in the new season.

Kyrie Irving opts out, Nets trade for more draft assets

brooklyn nets, kyrie irving
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There is a real possibility that Kyrie Irving may decide to opt-out of his contract, despite his claims after the season that he was all in on helping Brooklyn get an NBA championship. Since their elimination, the team is taking a much firmer stance with the talented guard and is trying to convey a message to Irving of “you’re either us or without us.”

The seven-time All-Star is the type of guy that would be just fine finding a home elsewhere. If he does the Nets do not have the cap space to fill his spot with a player of close to equal value. If the worst-case scenario came to pass, the team should consider making a trade to acquire more draft capital in this or next year’s draft.

That would surely mean trading Seth Curry and/or Patty Mills. Certainly not starter-level talents, but both have respect around the league as strong bench contributors. Since both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder have a trio of first-round picks in 2022, trading one of those worthwhile talents for picks 20, 25, or 30 would be a savvy decision for general manager Sean Marks to free up some cap space and add some youth to develop on their well-aged roster.

Past 10 Brooklyn Nets first-round picks

YearPickPlayerPositionCollege
202127thCameron ThomasGLSU
202019thSaddiq Bey (traded)FVillanova
201917thNickeil Alexander-Walker (traded)GVirginia Tech
201927thMfiondu Kabengele (traded)FFlorida State
201829thDzanan MusaFBosnia and Herzegovina
201722ndJarrett AllenCTexas
201727thKyle Kuzma (traded)FUtah
201529thChris McCulloughFSyracuse
201322ndMason PlumleeCDuke
201127thJaJuan Johnson (traded)FPurdue