Nets Draft McCollough, Trade Plumlee for Hollis-Jefferson
Quite a busy Nets Draft, as Brooklyn shipped away arguably their top asset to secure a second first-round pick and in another deal traded two future second-rounders for perhaps the next Manu Ginobili.
Mason Plumlee will be on his way to Portland, along with Pat Connaughton, who the Nets drafted 41st overall, in exchange for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of Arizona and Steve Blake. With Brooklyn’s own first rounder - though technically Atlanta’s - the Nets selected Chris McCollough out of Syracuse. Finally, the Nets dealt two future second-round picks to Charlotte for Juan Vaulet, a 19-year-old out of Argentina.
Hollis-Jefferson was the grab of the night, with Brooklyn sacrificing their best young player since Brook Lopez to get him. “RHJ” was selected 23rd overall by the Blazers and was a green room invitee. In Zach Lowe’s latest podcast, ESPN’s Chad Ford called Hollis-Jefferson the best perimeter defender in the draft. The small forward clocks in at 6’7″ in shoes with a massive 7’2″ wingspan and 38-inch max vert. The downside is he has no range on his jumper, but if the Nets can develop that - who knows how good he can be?
McCollough is a 6’9″ power forward who suffered an ACL tear in his freshman year at Syracuse, but said in his post-draft interview he plans on being ready to ball come October. McCollough has a nice 7’3″ wingspan, but is frail in girth weighing just 199 pounds. He has the makings of a skillset that could be handy in the future, but right now his flashes of jump-shooting and defense aren’t all that convincing considering his body, lack of experience and general rawness. Writes DraftExpress:
“McCullough is a classic boom or bust NBA Draft prospect, whose risk becomes significantly lessened the further outside the Top-20 he gets picked. Power forwards who can block shots and make 3s are some of the rarest and most coveted prospects in today’s NBA thanks to the versatility they bring offensively and defensively, and some team is going to draft McCullough in hopes that they can mold him into a valuable contributor from the end of their roster or on their D-League affiliate over the course of the next few years.”
On to Vaulet, who is the biggest question mark of all. Vaulet is the first Argentinian to be selected in the Draft since Carlos Delfino in 2003. He’s been prevalent in junior national team play for Argentina, but what he can bring over to the states - if he even comes over right away - is up in the air. He’s a 6’6″ wing with great athleticism but iffy fundamentals - shooting and ball-handling, namely. He’ll certainly be a project for the Nets, though not having their own D-League team hurts in this regard.
Stick to Brooklyn’s Finest for further analysis on a wild Nets Draft night.