Nets wheel and deal late, acquire G Taylor
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
The Nets may be headed to New York this season, but at least they will take a newly acquired New Jersey native with them.
Brooklyn traded for Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round of Thursday's NBA draft, giving some splash to a night in which the team had no first-round pick.
The Nets sent cash considerations to the Blazers for the 6-foot-3 Taylor, a native of Hoboken, N.J., after the Blazers selected him with the 41st pick.
Taylor, a product of national high school powerhouse St. Anthony in Jersey City, was a four-year starter at Kansas, scoring 1,580 points and dishing off 575 assists. He was a third team All-America and a first team All-Big 12 selection, leading the Jayhawks to the NCAA championship game, before falling to Kentucky.
The Nets, who will move to Brooklyn after playing two seasons in Newark, N.J., did not have a pick in the original draft until the 57th overall selection, before making the deal to acquire the 22-year-old Taylor. Brooklyn general manager Billy King said that the team liked Taylor from the outset. He averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists last season with the Jayhawks.
''We had him on our board pretty high,'' King said. ''We were trying to get a young point guard that we could groom. We liked his pedigree and his ability to play in big games. Once we started to slide, we made the move to get him. We liked his overall play as a point guard and we think his best basketball is ahead of him. We like his decision making and his size. He knows what it takes to be successful.
''He's played with a lot of talented players in the past and that makes you a better player.''
The Nets then acquired the rights for Tornike Shengelia in a trade with Philadelphia for the 54th pick overall. The 20-year-old Shengalia is a 6-foot-8 forward from Tblisi, Georgia who averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds for Spirou Charleroi in Belgium in the Euroleague.
''We like his length and he was someone we had higher on the board,'' King said. ''We had the chance to get another foreign player that we could keep over there, keep their rights and watch them develop and grow.''
The Nets' final pick of the evening was their own selection. With the 57th pick, Brooklyn selected Ilken Karaman, a 6-foot-9 forward from Turkey who played last year for Pinar Karsikaya in the Turkish League.
''I saw him play when I was in Turkey last summer during the lockout,'' King said of the 22-year old Karaman. ''In fact, he was playing against Deron (Williams, the Nets' All-Star who played in Turkey during last summer's holdout). He was big and strong.''
The plan is to allow Karaman to remain in Turkey, as well, where he is under contract for the next two seasons.
''We can let him progress and develop his talent over there,'' King said. ''We have no timetable when we would bring him over. It was pretty quiet for a while, then we got pretty active. It was a good draft.
''We would have liked to get a little higher, but we like what we were able to get.''
The Nets went 22-44 in their final season in New Jersey, taking last place in the Atlantic Division. Their biggest offseason news, one way or the other, is the future of Williams, who will become a free agent on Sunday, but is leaning toward staying with Brooklyn.