The Celtics own the Nets’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, but that doesn’t mean Brooklyn won’t end up being involved in the first round next Thursday. According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), people around the NBA expect the Nets to acquire a first-round pick, with an agent and a rival executive both telling him with confidence that Brooklyn will get back into the first round.
The Nets likely don’t have the trade ammunition to land a pick in the top half of the first round, but there could be a handful of willing trade partners closer to the end of the round. The Celtics, Nuggets, Suns, and 76ers all have three first-round picks apiece, and likely won’t use all of them. The Raptors also hold an extra first-rounder, and are expected to move at least one of their two picks.
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Of course, Brooklyn won’t be the only club making an effort to move into the back half of the first round — the Nets aren’t even the only New York team in the market for a pick. We heard back in May that the Knicks plan on trading into the draft, either in the second round or late in the first.
With only about $47MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2016/17, the Nets’ taxpaying days are likely behind them for the foreseeable future. Still, adding a young player on a rookie contract would help keep costs down as the team goes through its rebuilding phase.