Before the Madness
The NCAA Tournament, or March Madness begins next week. The NCAA’s most prestigious tournament will feature 68 of the top college teams vying for glory. It’s one of the world’s most intriguing (and profitable) sporting events. Well, the profitable part applies to everyone except the people that actually make the games exciting. With the NCAA Tournament, basketball fans will be picturing the tournament’s top performers playing in black and white at Barclays.
At the trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets added a first round pick by trading Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough to the Washington Wizards for their 2017 first round pick (and Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton.) Bogdanovic has been impressive for Washington so far. But for Brooklyn, the move was for the future.
The Nets potentially have four selections in this year’s draft, two first and two second round picks, none of which are their own. The Nets’ first-round pick acquired from the Wizards is lottery protected. Washington has solidified its spot as a top-three team in the east.
The Nets will swap picks with the Boston Celtics. Celtics GM Danny Ainge stood firm at February’s trade deadline, thinking that the Nets’ selection will build a winner in the future, rather than going for it all by acquiring Paul George, Jimmy Butler, or DeMarcus Cousins. As Nets fans, we’re just trying to see if Trahson Burrell (or R.J. Hunter) (or Cliff Alexander) (or Jimmer Fredette, THERE I SAID IT) will get a 10-day contract.
In the second round, the Nets traded their own second round pick to the Atlanta Hawks. The likely #31 pick is the last piece of the Joe Johnson trade (wow.) Because of the Celtics’ first-round swap, the Nets will acquire their second round selection, protected 31-45. Wait, people did pick protections in that trade? Boston protected their second round pick SWAP. Brooklyn failed to protect any of the four first round picks they handed over for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
If the Pacers miss the playoffs, the Nets will acquire their second round pick. As of today, the Pacers are in a tight race for the 6, 7, and 8 seeds in the playoffs. The Pacers, Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, and Heat are packed closely in the win-loss column. That playoff seeding race may come down to the very last game of the season. Even though the Nets don’t have a stake in the playoffs, they’ll be watching the end of the season closely.
There could be up to four Nets rookies next season. Add that to an already young core, and the Nets could be one of the youngest teams in the league next season.
Watching Box Scores
Nets fans will probably be checking Wizards and Celtics box scores frequently for the rest of the season. If the NBA season ended today, the Nets would own the 24th and 25th picks in the draft. With less than 20 games left for most teams, draft position might change drastically. Injuries, inconsistency, and rest for any team could easily alter the Nets’ draft selections.
The Celtics have seemingly clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They currently own the sixth-best record in the NBA, in a tie with Utah.