The Brooklyn Nets are transitioning from a team that many believed to be a championship contender to a squad that has some good players, but does not have the superstar to take the organization over the top. After the superstar era of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden did not result in much, Brooklyn looks to move forward in a competitive rebuild, so to speak.
The Nets will be led next season by a good, young core in Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Nic Claxton while hoping that players like Ben Simmons can help elevate the team into the playoffs and beyond. While that is the team’s present goal, it would be interesting to delve into the future of the organization.
Brooklyn made three picks in the 2023 NBA Draft and all three of those players have some level of promise based on what they did in college. Based off the team’s moves this summer, it’s clear that the Nets are looking to get younger and more athletic. Let’s discuss what all three of the draft picks can provide to the team next season:
Clowney is a player who has the potential to develop into the kind of stretch-4/5 big man that every team in the league is looking for. At this point, it seems that Clowney is better on the defensive end than the offensive side of the ball and if anything, the Vegas summer league showed that he has a lot to work on before he can become a solid rotation player. However, given that he turned 19 years old this past July, it’a safe to say that Clowney will have some time to mature and work on his body and skills necessary to succeed.
Whitehead will be an interesting prospect to track not only because of his draft status, but because of what he will be once he recovers from his recent foot surgeries. It’s clear from watching Whitehead over the past two seasons that he looked considerably different athletically from his senior year of high school two years ago and his freshman season at Duke last season. If he is able to regain the athletic from that he had two years ago, Whitehead can be the steal that Brooklyn needs to hasten this rebuild and get back to playoff expectations.
Wilson comes into the NBA as one of the oldest players in the draft, 22 years old, but as the world saw in the Vegas summer league, he looks ready for the competition. While Wilson will have to prove that he can overcome some of his athletic deficiencies and finishing at the rim, he has already shown that he can play at the NBA level and that he may very well be a steal.