Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17), Nicolas Claxton (No. 31), Jaylen Hands (No. 56)
With the free agent status of All-Star D’Angelo Russell up in the air, the Brooklyn Nets managed to snag a possible replacement in Nickeil Alexander-Walker, whose size and defensive acumen make him an intriguing prospect.
He possesses the ability to function with either hand who can operate off screens and make plays for teammates. Alexander-Walker averaged 1.9 steals per game last season and has the size at 6’5” to be a pest at the defensive end of the floor.
To kick off the second round, Brooklyn wound up with Nicolas Claxton, a versatile inside-out defender with some playmaking skills and the ability to protect the bucket. He was given the chance to make plays as a primary playmaker as a forward, but still managed to keep his turnovers relatively low at 2.1 per game last season.
A lanky and frail frame make him an ideal candidate to switch multiple screens defensively, although the lack of size will likely wear him out as the season progresses. Should he improve on his sub-30 3-point percentage, his IQ will make him a tough cover for opposing defenses.
Jaylen Hands is an athletic playmaker who averaged 6.1 assists per game at UCLA last season. With 3.1 turnovers a game as well, he needs to work on his decision-making while keeping the ball under control.
Having hit on previous prospects such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, the Nets are riding high on recent drafts. While Brooklyn’s focus is more on free agency, the front office did an admirable job of picking up players to fill potential voids depending on how the summer shakes out.