Nets Work Out Five Prospects

The Brooklyn Nets currently possess the 29th pick in this year’s draft, and worked out five potential draftees on Tuesday. The questions is however, do any of these prospects fit in with the Nets? The prospects that were worked out were SG Aaron Thomas (Florida State), G Terry Rozier (Louisville), PG Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), C Kendall Gray (Delaware State) and F Mike Meyers (Maryland Eastern-Shore). 

While these prospects are just the first of many that are sure to pass through the Nets organization before the draft, it could be beneficial to take a closer look and see how they would fit in with the Nets program.

SG Treveon Graham (VCU) was scheduled to workout but couldn’t make it due to weather.

Feb 5, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Aaron Thomas (25) reacts in the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 70-50. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 5, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Aaron Thomas (25) reacts in the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 70-50. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Thomas – Florida State

Position: SG

2014-15 Statistics: 14.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 46 FG%, 24 3PT%

Standout Performance: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals on 58 FG% and 50 3PT% (Nov. 18 vs Northeastern)

Aaron Thomas was set to have a big season for Florida State and was looking to make his case as a late lottery pick. However in early December just before Florida State was set to begin conference play against Notre Dame, Thomas was ruled ineligible. According to multiple sources, the eligibility issues were not academic and indicted by Florida State, not the NCAA.

This raises a lot of questions about Thomas as the general public does not know why he was declared ineligible. However, it is likely that most NBA teams will know the specifics if they are seriously considering calling Thomas’ name on draft day.

Thomas’ main strengths are getting to the basket, running out on transition and playing good defense. All of these strengths stem from Thomas’ athleticism which is evident in the video below.

Thomas has the basics of the game down, he just needs to refine them. After getting to the rim, Thomas struggles to finish, and he also needs to improve his ball handling on the perimeter. As evidenced by his three point percentage, Thomas does also need to improve his outside stroke, however he did shoot 37 percent from deep in the 2013-14 season so the potential is there.

Personally I believe Thomas would not be a good fit for the Nets to draft simply due to the fact that they already have an young athletic shooting guard who struggles from the perimeter in Markel Brown and drafting Thomas would simply be redundant.

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Terry Rozier – Louisville 

Position: G

2014-15 Statistics: 17.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2 spg, 41 FG%, 30 3PT%

Standout Performance: 32 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals on 56 FG% and 50 3PT% (Dec 20 @ Western Kentucky)

Terry Rozier was one of the top point guards in the nation, helping Louisville to an Elite Eight finish. However, in my opinion, Rozier is not a point guard. Yes Rozier has the size of a point guard, he’s 6’2, 190 lbs but I believe he could be serviceable in the NBA as a dynamic combo guard off of the bench.

Rozier is a gifted scorer, and not quite the passer that is needed to run the point in the NBA. Of course Rozier could lineup at point guard for spells, he would be most valuable as a Lou Williams-esque scorer off the bench. If this was to be the case, Rozier’s efficiency would need to rise along with his three point percentage but it could work.

The Ohio native could be incredibly valuable to Brooklyn due to the uncertainty surrounding Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack, drafting Rozier could be crucial. He would be a strong pick for Brooklyn in the late first round.

Nov 17, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) attempts a free throw after a technical foul on Oakland Golden Grizzlies during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 17, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos (4) attempts a free throw after a technical foul on Oakland Golden Grizzlies during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Pangos – Gonzaga

Position: PG

2014-15 Statistics: 11.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.8 apg, 45 FG%, 43 3PT%

Standout Performance: 21 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals on 55 FG% and 63 3PT% (Dec 27 @ BYU)

Kevin Pangos is your stereotypical Gonzaga prospect. He is an extremely polished player with a high basketball IQ and an efficient scorer. However, he is 22-years-old and lacks NBA-level athleticism while also possessing a wingspan of only 5’11 which will hurt him in the big leagues.

Pangos will never be anything but an average defender in the NBA but could be a solid floor general to bring off the bench. Similar to Rozier, his future will be determined by the fates of Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack, but he could be a low-risk, high-reward pick for Brooklyn if they do decide to ship Williams and/or Jack out of Brooklyn.

DSU Athletics
DSU Athletics

Kendall Gray – Delaware State

Position: C

2014-15 Statistics: 11.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 55 FG%

Standout Performance: 33 points, 30 rebounds, 3 blocks on 92 FG% (Mar 5 @ Coppin State)

Just take a look at that standout performance. Yes it was against Coppin State, but I don’t care, anyone who manages to grab 30 rebounds in a game has a high motor and the ability to make an impact on an NBA team.

As evidenced by the video above, if a teammate throws the ball up anywhere near the rim, Gray will grab it and throw it down. Think of Gray as a poor man’s DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond.

It is important to remember however that Gray did play against weak competition and his season averages are not the most flattering, He will struggle to make an impact in the NBA and never be anything more than a high energy reserve player.

Gray’s ceiling in the NBA is a high energy role player off the bench who will grab rebounds and run in transition, but that will work for the Nets. Brooklyn needs all the athleticism they can get and Gray does provide just that.

Maryland-Eastern Shore forward Mike Myers (24) grabs a rebound away from Villanova's Daniel Ochefu (23) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
Maryland-Eastern Shore forward Mike Myers (24) grabs a rebound away from Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu (23) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Mike Meyers – Maryland Eastern-Shore

2014-15 Statistics: 15.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg 1.4 spg, 59 FG%

Standout Performance: 29 points, 16 rebounds, 70 FG%, 92 FT%

Mike Meyers is in a similar situation as Gray is. Both players play their hearts out  for lesser known teams against weaker opponents and have produced well over the season.

Meyers is only 6’8 but will lineup at power forward in the NBA as he does not have the speed or perimeter game to match up with the NBA’s small forwards. However that will become his main issue in the NBA; Meyers is undersized at the four and outmatch at the three so he will struggle.

To state it simply, Meyers is a tweener and that is why the Nets should stay away from him. Recent tweeners such as Anthony Bennett, Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley have not worked out, and they played against top competition in college.

I cannot see Meyers succeeding at the professional level and that is why the Nets should steer clear of Meyers.

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