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With James Harden trade in limbo, Nets have choice to make in NBA Draft 2020

The 2020 NBA Draft is almost here — 8 p.m. Wednesday — and there’s no guarantee the Nets will even make the 19th-overall selection. The pick has been in play as GM Sean Marks looks to build a contender by any means necessary.

But if the Nets stand pat, a picture has become at least a little clearer of some of the prospects they like, and some who might be there for the taking.

The secretive Nets won’t even confirm what prospects they have interviewed, but at least three in-person workouts have been confirmed, with several others prospects known to have been interviewed by the front office and scouts.

Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry, New Zealand Breakers wing RJ Hampton and 19-year-old French guard Theo Maledon of Asvel have all had in-person workouts for Brooklyn. Hampton and Arizona’s Josh Green are the players most often linked with the Nets in league circles.

“I think my meeting with them and both my Zoom interviews went really well. I think I was able to leave a good impression,” said Terry, who went through a workout regimen designed by his trainer while Nets brass and scouts watched. Already able to shoot and create out of the pick-and-roll, he’s worked to bulk up and develop a step-back to help him score off the dribble.

Tyrell TerryAP

“There are rumors that they’re trying to do some big roster moves, so for me just going in there and doing what I do is the biggest thing that I can do, whether that can be learning from veterans or maybe even having a contribution right away. For me, going into that roster I just need to go in and do what I do right away.”

That has been Brooklyn’s wont, having Marks and scouts watch workouts while new coach Steve Nash has largely been hands-off.

The Nets’ No. 19 pick has been included in nearly every version of proposed deals to acquire James Harden. But if they hold it — along with the 55th selection — Hampton sees himself as a natural fit next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Already a plus athlete but an inconsistent shooter, he’s been in Memphis working on his jumper with Mike Miller and his point-guard skills with Penny Hardaway.

“The thing I like about that fit is I can play off those guys. Those guys are superstars in this league, Kevin Durant and Kyrie [Irving],” Hampton said. “You have Caris LeVert, an up-and-coming star, with a Hall of Fame coach, Steve Nash.

“So those guys would give me the wisdom every single day, just coming in ready to work. That’s a very good team, a great organization to play for.”

The Nets have interviewed TCU senior off-guard Desmond Bane, Duke freshman center Vernon Carey Jr., Aussie wing Josh Green, Arkansas off-guard Isaiah Joe, Washington’s 6-10 184-pound wing Jaden McDaniels, Arizona point guard Nico Mannion and Maryland big man Jalen Smith. Still, they’re most often connected with Hampton and Green.

“[Hampton] took a strange path going to New Zealand,” said longtime 76ers scout Michael VandeGarde, now a part owner of CoachTube and running a boutique scouting service for NBA teams. “He’s got good length, a very good ball-handler. He’s got quickness, can play off the dribble. He’s just all upside, he’s just an unknown. But I’d be excited about him.

“I like Josh Green. He’s a much younger player [than Bane], he can shoot it. He hasn’t shot it at the level of Bane, but Green is way better at his age than Bane was. Green has always been an elite recruit, top 20 in his class. He’s not a super athlete, but he relies on his skill, scoring and shooting. I like him at that range. … Green going into the year was a lottery pick. I wouldn’t pass that up.”

The Post’s pick

Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
The Nets may well not even hold onto the 19th-overall pick. But if they do, Stanford’s freshman point guard Terry is a promising, high-upside development project.


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