It isn't easy to marry many teams with players in advance of Thursday night's draft, but there may not be any team more difficult to assess than the New Jersey Nets. They've been looking at point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and players who fall in between those strict positional alignments.
At Wednesday's pre-draft interview session in Times Square, four very different kinds of players all discussed the chance that they'd play for the Nets. Jonny Flynn, the point guard from Syracuse, avoided any specific comments about the team, but there wasn't any scenario that didn't bring a smile to his face. Gerald Henderson, the shooting guard from Duke, was less ebullient but just as complimentary of the franchise.
The other two players were a bit more expansive when discussing life with the Nets. Tyler Hansbrough, when he wasn't angrily reminding the media that he was a proven player unlike the freshmen sharing the room with him, said that he got a good impression from the Nets when he worked out for them this spring. He also wasn't worried about sharing space with Brook Lopez in the front court, saying that Lopez's "inside presence and my high energy" complement each other well.
Like Hansbrough, Terrence Williams spent four years in college. Unlike Hansbrough, there aren't any questions about how his athletic ability will translate to the next level. The Louisville swingman is quick, strong and versatile, although there are questions about his ability to make shots. He said he loved the staff when he visited with the Nets and expressed excitement about a potential move to Brooklyn, but wasn't sure what the roster might look like because "of all the trades they're talking about."
Williams didn't have any inside information, he was referring to the long germinating rumors of a deal sending Vince Carter out of town. If Carter isn't moved, it's hard to see how well Williams would fit on the roster, and he probably won't be moved before the Nets make their selection on Thursday night. A point guard makes a lot of sense, as it would free Devin Harris to play off the ball and score more, but Flynn might not make it to 11 and it's unclear if they're interested in Brandon Jennings or think Ty Lawson is worth picking that early in the first round.
At the end of the day, it feels like the Nets will go with the best available player. How they make that choice, though, is anyone's guess.