NBA Draft 2011: New Jersey Nets' Top 5 Draft Picks of All Time
I don't think that I will be wrong in saying that the New Jersey Nets' last year’s draft selection, Derrick Favors (above), hasn’t exactly panned out like the Nets organization has hoped. That is, unless the Nets were planning to trade Favors right from the start. But I don't really think that this was how the Nets envisioned the 2010 draft.
Let's switch to something else.
With the 2011 NBA Draft now in the books, let’s take a look at the choices that the Nets’ brass has made in the past on draft night.
5. Bernard King
Bernard King had only played two season with the Nets from 1977 to 1979 (plus 32 games during 1992-1993 season), but what a great two years they were.
During the 1977-1978 season, King averaged 24.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. In 1978-79, he averaged 21.6 and 8.2.
While King had better success playing with the New York Knicks, his playing days with the Nets are not something that should be overlooked.
4. Cliff Robinson
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No not the Cliff Robinson that played with the Nets.
The other one. I mean this one.
After being selected with the 11th pick of the 1979 draft, Robinson averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Much like Bernard King, Robinson was only around for one more season, in which he averaged 19.5 and 7.6. However, the Nets failed to make the playoffs both years that Robinson was with the team.
Unfortunately for the New Jersey Nets, Robinson’s best years were still ahead of him. In his first year away from New Jersey, Robinson averaged 20.2 points and nine rebounds per game. That was followed by seven years during which Robinson averaged between 14.8 and 19 points.
3. Kenny Anderson
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For a brief period in the early 1990s, Kenny Anderson was a part of the Nets’ triple threat duo that included Derrick Coleman and Drazen Petrovic. And for a brief moment, it seemed that the Nets would become a playoff mainstay.
Anderson had a solid rookie campaign while averaging seven points and 3.2 assists per game after being selected second overall in the 1991 draft.
The following season Anderson exploded with 16.9 points and 8.2 assists per game. And for the next two full seasons, Anderson maintained a high level of play while averaging 18.8 and 17.6 points per game while dishing out 9.6 and 9.4 assist per contest.
During the 1995-1996 season, before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets, Anderson averaged 15.3 points and eight assists per game in 31 games for the New Jersey Nets.
2. Derrick Coleman
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Derrick Coleman could’ve been one of the greatest power forwards of all time.
The main point here is, "could’ve been."
Drafted first overall in the 1990 draft, Coleman had an outstanding rookie campaign with 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and was subsequently named the 1991 Rookie of the Year.
The next four years with the Nets, Coleman averaged 19.8, 20.7, 20.2 and 20.5 points per game.
Much of Coleman’s post-Nets career was marred by lackadaisical play, but he is still considered a solid player. Although, one that did not play up to his potential.
1. Buck Williams
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After being drafted third overall in 1981, Buck Williams spent eight very productive years with the Nets.
As a note, Williams was the 1982 Rookie of the Year.
During the first seven years, Williams averaged between 15 and 18.8 points per game and 12 and 12.5 rebounds per game. In his last year with the Nets, Williams averaged 13 points and 11.9 rebounds per game.
It was during the 1983-84 season that the Nets had made it past the first round of playoffs, before succumbing to the Milwaukee Bucks, and they wouldn't advance to the second round again until the 2002 playoffs.