The Brooklyn Nets underwent a seismic roster overhaul over the course of the 2022-23 season. After beginning the year with a star tandem in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets traded both away to the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks in respective blockbuster trades. In return, Brooklyn acquired a promising core in Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Spencer Dinwiddie alongside a bevy of draft capital.
In the aftermath, the Nets would go on to finish with a 45-37 record, good for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Their season would end in a sweep to the third-seed Philadelphia 76ers.
The departure of Durant and Irving left a huge void when it comes to playmaking and scoring, hence those two being clear priorities heading into the draft. Sean Marks could target a backcourt player with the ability to handle the ball, and a wing player with an affinity for hitting the three could also be a welcome addition given the uncertain future around shooting guard Joe Harris.
Nets 2023 NBA Draft selections
No. 21: Noah Clowney, C, Alabama
No. 22: Dariq Whitehead, G, Duke
No. 51: Jalen Wilson, F, Kansas
Clowney fits well for the Nets, who need some help on the interior. He’s a force on the glass and has good upside as a rim protector, although he didn’t have to do that much in college. We’ll see if he can beat out Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe for minutes in the frontcourt.
Whitehead might be thrust into a more immediate role if Seth Curry leaves in free agency, and he could be a steal at this spot. His three-point shot is phenomenal, and he should get some good looks with Ben Simmons and Mikal Bridges likely commanding most of the defensive attention.
Fantasy basketball outlook
Even if he pans out, Clowney isn’t going to be a high-profile fantasy player given his role and strengths. It’s best to leave him on the waiver wire until he gets consistent playing time. Whitehead is the better prospect from a fantasy standpoint, and he could be a late value add if Curry leaves in free agency.