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The 2023 NBA Draft has just finished and the Brooklyn Nets made use of all of their 3 picks during the selection to increase their roster and add some fresh young blood around Mikael Bridges. Below we give you a quick brief of the 3 selected young players from the Nets and some input as to how they will fit in.
#21 Noah Clowney
Height: 6-10 (210cm)
Weight: 210 (101kg)
College: University of Alabama
Noah Clowney was the first pick Brooklyn made. He was a logical one as the Nets needed a backup centre and with the pick being just outside the top 20 Clowney was the best option left on the board. Clowney was one-and-done with Alabama after averaging 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 combined blocks+steals in his Freshman year. These returns saw Clowney earning enough votes to make the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Clowney is a solid shooter from mid-range. He averaged 44.3% from 10 feet or closer in his Freshman year. he still lacks the muscle mass to properly force his will right at the rim but at age 19 he has time to build that now he has been drafted into the NBA.
We believe Clowney will become part of the regular rotation for the Nets and he will get at least 14-15 minutes per game use in his rookie year. He will likely be the backup centre behind Claxton.
#22 Dariq Whitehead
Height: 6-6 (198cm)
Weight: 210 (101kg)
With their next pick, the Nets selected a guard that was seen as one of the sleepers with a pretty high ceiling in the 2023 Draft. Dariq Whitehead was the most decorated basketball player at the high school level. He used his size in his early years to force his will inside. Dariq has developed into a very good finisher through contact and is never afraid to go downhill.
However, he failed to transport this same form when moving to Duke. He also had a foot injury recently. Dariq seems to be fully fit again though and he has also shown great professionalism as all the indications are that he worked hard on his shot from distance while out injured and he averaged 39.8% from beyond the arc upon his return to fitness.
Dariq needs to be developed further and a period into the G League could be on the cards for him. However, if the Nets want to speed up the process they could start using him as part of the rotation straight away and hope he would continue to work hard on his craft.
#51 Jalen Wilson
Height: 6-8 (203cm)
Weight: 230 (116kg)
Team: Kansas University
Jalen Wilson became a national champion with Kansas in 2022. He is also the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year and Julius Erwing Award winner after his game improved vastly during his year four at Kansas. He doubled his shot input in 2022-23 and was taking 16.0 shots per game. He also averaged 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season.
Wilson looks like a great steal by the Nets so late in the draft as he is a proven winner. He still needs to work on his shot. Still, for a big, he averaged 33.7% from beyond the arc and showed the ability to explore size mismatches.
We think Wilson might see limited playing time in his first year as an NBA player. That said the Nets lack depth in the forward positions so any injuries to some of the better-established rotation pieces could give Wilson much more minutes than even he hopes for.
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