While New Jersey Nets President Rod Thorn has stated for the record over the past few weeks that the team is looking for a rebounder out of the draft, Yahoo Sports has done a solid job of looking at some of the players the team may have some interest in.
Much like last season, the team acknowledged the fact that things are very wide open and they may be able to get a much better player than they expect.
“I do think this year, other than maybe the first pick, there’s a divergence of opinion among a lot of teams about who they would take,” Thorn told the Associated Press. “So somebody that we may think is the fourth or fifth player in the draft may drop to 11 because of people having differing opinions about different players.”
Here are a pair of players the team may be looking at according to Yahoo-
James Johnson- F, Wake Forest
Scouting Report from Rivals.com-
“Very athletic, Johnson both plays above the rim and shoots the ball well from outside. A combo forward, he does need to improve his strength in order to grind out rebounds and refine his overall skills with the ball.”
My Thoughts: A little wary of his rebounding skill, but I love that he has the ability to play both forward positions and can shoot. Nevertheless at 6′8, he may not be the ideal player the team is looking for.
DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
Scouting Report from CollegeHoops.net
Accolades: Honorable Mention Freshman All-American – CHN (08), Big East co-Rookie of the Year (08), Big East All-Rookie Team (08), Honorable Mention All-Big East (08), Pennsylvania State Player of the Year – AP – high school (07).
Scouting Report: A beast in the paint.
Strengths: Huge wingspan – 7’2”. Very physical and strong player. Clears a lot of space out in the paint, both on offense and defense. Uses his strength and long arms to score over taller defenders. Good hook shot. Fantastic rebounder – snatches rebounds with two hands. Overpowers defenders in the post. Variety of low-post moves with both hands. Very good footwork. Capable of dominating a game.
Weaknesses: Very undersized for the post in the NBA. Not much of a leaper. Needs a lot of work on defense. Doesn’t block nearly enough shots for a player with his wingspan. Can get into foul trouble. Very inconsistent.
My Thoughts: I could care less about the blocks, especially with Brook Lopez at center and Sean Williams in the lineup. With Ryan Anderson in the lineup as well, they can give this kid the time he needs to develop and will have completely different looks at the power forward position. Like Earl Clark, who I spoke about last week, Blair may be able to provide a spark for the team.