The Brooklyn Nets have attempted to make quite a few splashes since Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team, but the former New Jersey franchise hasn't been able to see the extra attention correlate with any playoff series wins.
The franchise is hoping that changes this year. The recent hiring of Jason Kidd to replace interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo is expected to breathe new life into an underachieving, often injury-riddled team featuring Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.
The Nets need to start making better use of the draft, as many of their recent draft-night acquisitions have departed before they were able to make an impact. Recent first-round picks JaJuan Johnson, Damion James, Terrence Williams and Sean Williams all played in the NBA Development League last season as free agents. Lopez is the only member of the team's core to be drafted by the franchise.
The Nets have just one pick in this year's draft -- the No. 22 overall selection -- but were, at one point, in a much more advantageous position. The Nets nabbed a first round pick from the Houston Rockets in return for Terrence Williams a couple of years ago and also acquired a first-round pick from the Golden State Warriors for Marcus Williams, but the Nets sent both of those picks away in the trades for Johnson and Williams.
Center - Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche (free agent)
The Nets will need to build through the draft because the majority of their team is already under contract for next season. Most of those contracts are rather large, hindering possible free agent signings.
The Nets simply must find players that can come in and contribute on rookie contracts, regardless of the position. Brooklyn is pretty set in its starting rotation when injuries don't play a part. An additional center if Blatche leaves or depth behind the oft-injured Wallace would likely be the two biggest positional needs.
Prokhorov is very proud of his Russian heritage. He might be so proud that Sergey Karasev (scouting report) could be the player selected with their first-round pick. Karasev, a 19-year-old wing that played for Triumph Moscow last year, is ranked as the 18th-best player on SB Nation's big board.
A big man like Duke's Mason Plumlee (scouting report) is another option. Plumlee is seen as a pretty finished product, but the Nets already have nearly $14 million wrapped up in the power forward spot between Evans and Humphries.