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Why the Nets Can Strike Gold in the Draft, With or Without the Top Pick

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 04:  Naismith Player of the Year candidates Wesley Johnson (L) of the Syracuse Orange and Evan Turner of the Ohio State Buckeyes poses pose for a photo during the NABC Guardians of the Game Awarding of Naismith Trophy Presented by AT&T at the Murat Theatre on April 4, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images for Naismith Award)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Rachel MarcusCorrespondent IMay 18, 2010

The NBA Draft lottery is Tuesday night, which means two things. One, the NBA Draft is closer, and two, the Nets are closer to getting a potential star. But about that potential star. 

See, unlike the NFL and Major League Baseball, the league’s worst team is not guaranteed the number one overall pick. The Nets have a 25 percent chance of essentially landing John Wall. That’s better odds than any other team, but the the team with the best chance often does not get the top pick. The Nets could get screwed over and end up with the number four pick. But let’s go with wishful thinking here.

The last two times the Nets had the best chance of getting the number one pick, they won the lottery (1990 with Derrick Coleman, 2000 with Kenyon Martin). They are on the "every 10 years let’s suck and get the number one pick" schedule, and hopefully it won’t come back to bite them.

Obviously for the Nets, there is no place left to go but up. If they get John Wall with the first pick or even Evan Turner at number two, they are in great shape. Should they fall, things get a little murkier. They could choose from a list of players that includes Derrick Favors, Wes Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins, and Al Farouq Aminu. Those guys are good, but not like Wall, or even Turner.

If the Nets managed to fall to the number three or four pick, they would probably look at Favors or Cousins. But they should take a serious look at Johnson. Although he is not the power forward the Nets could use, he can play.

After seeing him for a year at Syracuse, I know for a fact that Wes Johnson has mad skills. He is super athletic, and can hit the three or slam dunk the ball.

But as much as I like Johnson, I will admit that the Nets need Wall bad. They need a star rookie to rejuvenate the team.

Here's to hoping the ping-pong balls bounce their way.


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