Nets draft preview: Mitch McGary

Michigan forward Mitch McGary missed all but eight games of the 2013-14 season. AP Photo/Tony Ding

With the draft coming up this Thursday, we continue our look at prospects the Nets might consider trading into the draft for.

Brooklyn does not have a pick in the draft but GM Billy King is interested in trading into the draft if a player the Nets like is available. Here is one player that could entice them to trade for a late first-round or second-round pick.


HEIGHT: 6-10


THE 411: Mitch McGary played in just eight games this past season due to a back injury that ended his season in December. He might’ve been a first-round pick had he come out after a stellar NCAA tournament run during his freshman year when he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds to help Michigan reach the NCAA championship game. His stock dropped last season and he turned pro after testing positive for marijuana and facing the potential of a year-long suspension. Despite being injured for most of his sophomore season, McGary was an energetic fixture on the bench. The physical big man plays with energy, is a good rebounder, has mid-range on his jumper and possesses good hands. If his health checks out, McGary, 22, can be a hard-working big man with potential. He does need to improve his post game inside.

FORD PROJECTION: ESPN draft insider Chad Ford projects McGary to be a late first-round pick.

FORD’S REPORT: “June 4 Update: McGary sat out most of the season with a back injury, but he's finally healthy again and is reminding teams that in a draft devoid of big men, he has the size, toughness and motor to be a true low-post player in the NBA. As long as doctors are OK with the long-term prognosis on his back, I think he sneaks into the late first round. Teams starting with the Thunder at No. 21 through the rest of the first round could all use another big like McGary.

WHY SHOULD THE NETS TRADE TO PICK HIM: At the moment, the Nets are operating as if Kevin Garnett will return until told otherwise. While the Nets have an emerging young big in Mason Plumlee and Brook Lopez is set to return this season, Jason Kidd will likely have Lopez and Garnett on a minutes restriction. The Nets have to take it easy with Lopez coming off another foot surgery. Plumlee will see plenty of minutes but the Nets also could very well lose Andray Blatche in free agency next month. Blatche opted out of his contract and both sides could move on. McGary could give the Nets another big to develop and perhaps play alongside Plumlee in the future. The Nets also need to improve on the glass and McGary could help in that department.