2011 NBA Draft: The Nets Big Smokescreen?

With the NBA Draft less than a week away, New Jersey Nets GM Billy King says that "the picture is getting clearer" when looking at his board.

If you look at the players that have been visiting the Garden State lately, it would seem that a big man will be in that picture when it finally is developed.  After all, there were only three guards among the 12 players that worked out for the Nets between Wednesday and Thursday.

Is King trying to get a look at as many big men as possible because that's definitely where he plans on going with the pick or have these workouts been a smokescreen?  While the Nets have little depth anywhere on the roster, they have few players after Deron Williams, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow that are guaranteed minutes in the backcourt next season. 

After being forced to give minutes to Sundiata Gaines, Ben Uzoh and Mario West, it would be a surprise if the Nets didn't pick up a point guard somewhere on draft night.  The question remains where exactly will New Jersey be picking?

Their own first round pick (No. 3 overall) was traded to the Utah Jazz in a package that brought back Williams but they own the Los Angeles Lakers' selection (27) in the first round and their own pick in the second round (36).  Then there is the always present "Mikhail Factor".

With some teams looking to get out of the first round altogether to avoid handing out a guaranteed contract in a down year, owner Mikhail Prokhorov will be waiting with his checkbook to purchase picks as they become available.  If there is a player available in the late teens or early twenties that King believes can help the Nets immediately, look for the team to swoop in quickly.

So while their recent workouts would point to a big man being their first pick, New Jersey will select the best available player no matter the position.  Potential need not apply with this Nets team, right now it's all about the playoffs in 2011-12 (or whenever we get another NBA season).

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