The Brooklyn Nets own the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and have three second-round selections at their disposal as well. With the need to build out their bench and complement their superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, how will the Nets approach the draft?
Continue reading for a Brooklyn Nets mock draft, along with a couple alternative prospects they could consider in Round 1 and what blockbuster trade scenarios are in play for them on draft night.
Brooklyn Nets 2021 NBA Draft picks
- First round, 27th pick
- Second round, 44th pick
- Second round, 49th pick
- Second round, 59th pick
Brooklyn Nets Mock Draft
- 26. Denver Nuggets: Ayo Dosunmu, guard, Illinois
- 27. Brooklyn Nets: Ziaire Williams, forward, Stanford
- 28. Philadelphia 76ers: Matthew Hurt, forward, Duke
Brooklyn Nets draft Ziaire Williams
You have to like Ziaire Williams’ upside. Unfortunately, in his one season at Stanford, he failed to meet expectations, which has his draft stock all over the place.
Lacking college production doesn’t necessarily equate to professional failure. The Cardinal had a squad laden with upperclassmen, which made it rather difficult for Williams to carve out a consistent role.
Williams is listed at 6-foot-8 and only 185 pounds, so he needs to fill out his wiry frame to realize his NBA potential. That said, even after an underwhelming college stint, Williams could still be drafted late in the lottery.
Because he still has so much room to get stronger, improve his consistency and just flat-out play smarter basketball, Williams is viewed as a longer-term investment who could pay off huge for a team with the patience to develop him.
The Nets may see Williams’ potential as too tantalizing to pass up if he’s still on the board. Just don’t be surprised if another team falls in love with Williams well before Brooklyn goes on the clock. He could evolve into a supreme 3-and-D wing who’d be a matchup nightmare at the 2.
Brooklyn Nets draft Jared Butler
As a national champion for the Baylor Bears, Jared Butler knows what it’s like to thrive on the big stage. The bright lights of Brooklyn and the Big Apple don’t seem too big for him.
Butler scored 22 points and had seven assists in Baylor’s national title game victory over a previously undefeated, loaded Gonzaga squad. He’s an excellent perimeter defender as well who averages two steals per contest in his final collegiate season.
One encouraging trend about Butler’s game is that his shooting percentage steadily improved over the course of three years. That’s a testament to his work ethic and improved shot selection. To go from 39.5% shooting to 47.1% two years later is no accident or fluke.
The Nets could really use another reliable guard to run point on their second unit. Butler certainly fits the bill, and can play off the ball when either Harden or Irving are leading the way in the backcourt.
Brooklyn Nets draft Kessler Edwards
Pepperdine isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for NBA talent, and it’d be quite the jump for Kessler Edwards to make from a humble mid-major program to championship contender. Nevertheless, Edwards has the skill set to do it.
There’s a chance the Nets could acquire Edwards with one of their three second-round picks, yet if he’s still there at No. 27 and Williams and Butler are off the board, they could fare worse than picking him.
Edwards has three years of college experience and is an excellent fit in the smaller lineups Brooklyn likes to deploy. He’s a stretch 4 who was a steady 39.5% 3-point shooter on 380 attempts from downtown.
With playmakers like Harden, Durant and Irving creating off the dribble, Edwards would get a lot of quality looks as an NBA rookie. He’s a crafty finisher in the paint, too, so he’s not restricted to a catch-and-shoot role.
With excellent defensive versatility, plenty of rebounding ability and even proven prowess as a shot-blocker, the Nets would be filling a lot of needs with Edwards in just one pick. Edwards is a sleeper draft enthusiasts should familiarize themselves with before he lands with a contender and makes a surprise impact.
Brooklyn Nets trade scenarios for 2021 NBA Draft
- Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: Any blockbuster deal the Nets pull off will likely center around Kyrie Irving. This scenario would be a clean one, with Brooklyn kicking in a couple second-round picks or even the 27th pick. Simmons could play power forward and transform the Nets’ defense.
- Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers: Another Irving-centered deal Brooklyn could try to put together. Brogdon is more of a defensive threat, but has plenty of game on offense, too. The Pacers could be enticed by Irving’s superior upside, and Rick Carlisle seems like the type of coach who could get the most out of the volatile superstar.
- Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks: In this scenario Brooklyn sends Dallas a couple draft picks — maybe one from 2022 as well — along with DeAndre Jordan and Joe Harris in exchange for Porzingis. The Nets obviously need frontcourt help, and while this is a risky trade proposition, the potential rewards are enormous.
Brooklyn Nets draft preview: Searching for depth behind the Big Three
Even with Irving and Harden getting injured during the playoffs, Durant was still inches away from eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks and willing Brooklyn to the Conference Finals.
So many combustible elements could’ve done the Nets in this past season. A first-time head coach in Steve Nash dealing with so many big egos didn’t look great on paper. However, when Brooklyn’s Big Three was on the floor at the same time, they looked unstoppable.
The draft is a great chance for the Nets to add an instant contributor or two who can provide invaluable depth to the rotation. Even one decent rookie would be clutch for Brooklyn.
We’ll see how many picks the team actually ends up making, because chances are, the Nets don’t want to count on too many young players in big spots during a potential championship run in 2021-22.