The Brooklyn Nets held their second day of pre-draft workouts yesterday at their training facility in East Rutherford, and Phil Greene, Derrick Marks, Darrun Hilliard, Aaron White, and David Laury all were in attendance.
Let’s take a look at these players, and see where and how these guys would fit in with the Nets.
After taking a look at some of the most recent expert mock drafts, it appears that Greene will be a long shot to be drafted. However Brooklyn director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky thought differently.
“He’s a guy that’s really quick with the basketball, and he can create his own shot,” Polinsky told ESPN following the workout. “I think Phil had a good career and St. John’s, and I think he’s gonna have a shot”
Greene averaged 13 points per game in his final year at St. John’s, including a huge game against Georgetown on February 28, where he scored 26 points and hauled in 7 rebounds. The Nets tend to draft seniors in the second round of the draft, however I do not see Greene as a fit on the Nets.
He is undersized for a shooting guard and has a hard time defending against bigger guards, which he will frequently face in the NBA.
As exciting as it would be to see a St. John’s player drafted by Brooklyn, I do not see Greene being drafted by the Nets.
Marks is another longshot to make the team, although the senior guard did put up great stats in his final year in Boise, averaging 21.3 points per game. He had an outstanding game in Boise State’s loss to Dayton in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 23 points and stealing the ball three times.
He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2015.
Marks would be an excellent addition to the Nets, because not only is he a terrific, well rounded player on offense, he never seems to give up on a defensive play. Marks is 6’3, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in hustle and intensity on the defensive end. I could see Marks being a good surprise pick for Brooklyn in the second round.
Hilliard has great size and athleticism for his position. Standing at 6’6 and averaging 14.3 points and 3.1 assists per game last year, Hilliard was a huge part of Villanova’s success last season. He is a solid perimeter shooter, and has expanded his range throughout his college career.
If Hilliard can continue to expand his range, and work on not settling for as many contested threes and utilize his great footwork to get an open shot, he will be a terrific NBA talent. Although the Nets already have several small forwards, I can see him playing behind Joe Johnson and Alan Anderson.
All-Big Ten first teamer Aaron White showed off his immense athleticism in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season against Davidson scoring 26 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. He averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last year and lead his team to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
I do not see this as a good fit for the Nets because the Nets already have talented youth at the power forward position in Mason Plumlee, Thaddeus Young, Mirza Teletovic (if he is re-signed) and Cory Jefferson. White could be a great asset to another team, but I do not believe that drafting a power forward is a big priority for the Nets.
Many people have not heard of Laury. He plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, an unknown yet talented Division I conference from the northeast. Laury’s success has not been seen by many, but is certainly relevant, as he averaged just shy of 20 points per game, and was named the MAAC Player of the Year, Iona’s third recipient in the past four years.
As a big man, Laury holds the fantastic ability to handle the ball to perfection, and run an offense, something extremely rare from someone of his size. He is a strong, physical player, and is able to finish plays through contact.
To me, Laury is one of the most underrated players of the Nets workouts, and although he is a long shot to be drafted, I could see him doing great things in the NBA as he did in college. He would be a solid option backing up Brook Lopez and Plumlee at center, or as a reserve at power forward.