NEW YORK — A year after making the biggest deal on draft day, the Brooklyn Nets settled for minor action toward the end.
Bypassing a chance to acquire a first-round pick, the Nets finally made their move midway through the second, acquiring the rights to No. 44 pick Markel Brown from Minnesota.
“Thank you to the Brooklyn Nets organization for giving me this golden opportunity,” Brown tweeted late Thursday night.
The Nets sent the Timberwolves cash considerations for the guard from Oklahoma State.
Playing alongside Marcus Smart, who went with the No. 6 pick to Boston, Brown averaged 17.2 points last season, fifth in the Big 12.
“There were places we could have gotten in the first round but we thought the price was too high,” general manager Billy King said. “And so as we looked at it, Markel Brown gives us an athletic combo guard, probably one of the top athletes in the whole draft.”
King said the Nets wanted to add youth to their backcourt. Starting point guard Deron Williams turned 30 on Thursday and is recovering from recent ankle surgery, while shooting guard Joe Johnson turns 33 on Sunday.
“As proud as I am of what Markel Brown achieved on the court, I am more proud of what he achieved in the classroom by earning his degree this year,” OSU coach Travis Ford said in a release. “I am honored to have coached these two young men and appreciate what they did to elevate our program at Oklahoma State on the national scene.”
Our program is in a good position for the future, thanks in large part to Marcus and Markel.”
Brooklyn was going to sit out the draft until being able to make the trade.
They had no first-round pick after sending it to Boston last year in the trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce that was agreed to on draft night.
The Nets had nothing nearly as big develop on Thursday, though options did become available.
“There was a lot, starting probably after the 10th pick in the draft, things going back and forth,” King said, “and we could’ve gotten in the first but we chose not to.”