- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said his team’s chances of acquiring a first-round pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft are “not good.”
“I’d like to get in, just because I think you can get a good player,” King said Wednesday. “I don’t know if we will, most likely. I doubt we’ll get into the first round. There’s a chance we can get a second-round pick, but we’re going to be patient. So I’d say the odds on the first round are not good, second round possible.”
Why “not good?”
“We can get there, but what do you have to give up to get there?” King responded. "So you weigh the player you have to trade or the cash you may have to spend and you find out, ‘Is it worth it? Is that player you’re going to get better than the one you’re giving up?”
The Nets have $2 million to buy a pick. Bojan Bogdanovic’s rights are another potential bargaining chip. Basically, they don’t have much to offer.
“Some people want to get rid of their picks. So I think it's [that] everybody has something they want in the draft,” King said. “The people putting a high price tag on picks, where they may want a future pick, instead of cash at this point, maybe that's the economics with changing ownership, but I think the draft is good. I think you can find the player you want in the draft.”
The Nets already have $89 million committed to nine players with guaranteed contracts: Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Mirza Teletovic, Andrei Kirilenko, Marcus Thornton, Mason Plumlee and Marquis Teague. Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston and Andray Blatche are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Jorge Gutierrez has a non-guaranteed deal. Even if the Nets do acquire a pick, that player likely won’t play a significant role on this season’s team -- baring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances.
King said if the Nets do acquire a pick, they’ll look to take the “best player available.”
“If you bypass a talent, going for specific need, I think you can make mistakes,” he said.
• Brook Lopez continues to progress as he makes his way back from foot and ankle surgery.
“He’s shooting, doing more movement, he’s been in here everyday,” King said.
Lopez is accompanying the team down to Orlando for Summer League.
“He’ll be there. He won’t play in games, but he’ll be there with the team,” King said. “The great thing for Brook is he’s been here since the season ended. He’ll be in Orlando working and rehabbing and working on track to get him back on the court.”
• Williams, who underwent offseason surgery on both of his ankles, is doing well, King said. King believes Williams is returning to the New York area to see doctors in mid-July. King did not know if Williams still required the use of crutches.
• The Nets will hold training camp in East Rutherford, N.J. instead of going to Duke University. King said the reason is because the team is playing a pair of preseason games in China Oct. 12 and Oct. 15. Their first training-camp practice is expected to be held Sept. 27, King said.
• Plumlee, Gutierrez and Teague will be on the Nets’ Summer League roster, King said.
• King did not expect any changes with the coaching staff, though it was reported by ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that the Los Angeles Clippers are targeting demoted assistant Lawrence Frank.
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