The Brooklyn Nets have zero draft picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. They’ll have $2 million that can possibly buy them a second round pick, but instead they should look to someone that they’ve personally groomed to be their de facto draft pick.
Adonis Thomas is the player the Nets kept close to the vest last season, and stashed him away with their D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor. Thomas is a 6-foot-7, 21-year-old swingman who played college ball at Memphis. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, so the talent is there. He was just played out of position in college and in the end that affected his draft stock.
Coming into the pros, Thomas needed to work on his outside shot and efficiency. He was always a freakish athlete and a great defender, even in college. He certainly worked on that and in the D-League you could see the improvements. With the Armor, Thomas starred on the team. On average, Thomas logged 35 minutes per game averaging 17 points, five rebounds on 46 percent from the field, and a lights out 47 percent from the 3-point line.
He played really well, he just wasn’t a fit on the Nets last season with Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko, Alan Anderson, and other veterans competing for the same spot.
With the uncertainty of Pierce, Kirilenko, and Anderson going into next season, Thomas may be in line to grab a roster spot next year. The Nets need to get younger and more athletic and Thomas fits the bill for both of those categories.
Thomas was called up twice last season, and couldn’t find a franchise to give him a shot. Both call ups were late in the season where it would of been hard for him to crack any rotation no matter how bad the team was.
The Nets have very little draft assets going all the way through 2019, so they’ll have to depend on player development, why not start off with a player who lit it up last season, at a higher level than college, and fits what they need.