The Brooklyn Nets, in conjunction with the Houston Rockets, hosted a draft combine this past weekend at the PNY Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Representatives from all 30 NBA teams were on hand to watch 44 players, most of whom are projected to be second round picks, participate in skill workouts and five on five scrimmages. Players were also measured and put through an array of agility tests.
The combine provided a great opportunity for the players to show off their talents and allow teams to get a better look at the prospects. The Nets hold the 57th pick in the upcoming draft, and hope to find a hidden gem in the late second round.
One of those potential gems is Kim English of Missouri, who impressed scouts with his accuracy from beyond the arc as well as his work ethic.
“It’s something I take pride in, knocking down shots and guarding,” English said. “To possibly learn under Anthony Morrow, who I think is a top five shooter in the NBA, it’s something I would take pride in.”
Another player who raised his draft stock was Tu Holloway of Xavier. Holloway, whose scoring and passing ability is well documented, showed great strides in his defensive ability.
“I take pride in my defense,” Holloway said. “You cant always control making shots or getting assists, but you can control your effort on defense.”
The Nets may be in the market for a backup point guard if they decide not to bring back Sundiata Gaines and Jordan Farmar opts out of his contract. The Nets could make Holloway their choice.
“I just want to make an impact,” Holloway said. “If it comes with me being the 57th pick to the Nets, I would love that and I would just work hard everyday.”
Scott Machado of Iona, who described himself as a ”Steve Nash that plays defense,” is another player the Nets could look at.
The Haggerty Award winner has steadily been climbing up draft boards though, and may be out of the Nets reach.
“I think it’s all about opportunities,” said Machado. “If I get picked up in the second round, I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Other players who made positive impacts include forward Josh Owens of Stanford, who had the highest vertical leap and ranked first in the bench press test, center Justin Hamilton of LSU, and guard Orlando Johnson of UC Santa Barbara, whose draft stock skyrocketed after the combine.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will host a similar draft combine May 30 and 31, before prospects head to Chicago June 6 for the NBA’s annual draft camp.
The Nets will find out whether or not they landed a top three pick at the NBA Draft lottery May 30 in Secaucus, New Jersey.