Given their Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets aren’t lacking superstar talent and scoring. But all that star power isn’t cheap, so it might be tough for them to put together an inexpensive team this offseason. However, the NBA draft could be an avenue for the Nets to find less costly, younger talent to help fill out their roster.
Currently, the Nets own four picks in the 2021 NBA draft: the No. 27, No. 44, No. 49 and No. 59. With one of those three second-round picks, Brooklyn might look to take Wichita State’s star guard, Tyson Etienne.
The Wichita Eagle’s Taylor Eldridge recently reported that the Nets conducted a pre-draft interview with Etienne.
Etienne just completed his sophomore season, so there is still a chance that he withdraws from the draft and returns to Wichita State to continue his collegiate career. He has till July 7 to make a decision and retain his college eligibility. If he chooses to pursue a professional career now and stays in the draft, then teams are likely to consider taking Etienne as a second-round draft pick or as an undrafted free agent.
Here’s what you need to know about Etienne and what he can offer to the Nets:
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A “do it all shooting guard” as described by Wichita State, Etienne is a bit undersized at 6-feet, 2-inches tall and 200 pounds.
This past season, Etienne played in 22 games, starting all of them. The Shockers’ star player, he led the team in scoring and minutes with averages of 16.3 points and 33.8 minutes. The scoring input and efficiency was a drastic improvement from his freshman year numbers of 9.4 points in 24.6 minutes per game.
Etienne shot 37.1% from the field and also averaged 2.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.
The American Athletic Conference honored Etienne for his play by naming him as the conference’s co-Player of the Year for men’s basketball.
The main appeal Etienne has to offer is his 3-point shooting ability — especially as a smaller guard.
This past season, Etienne attempted 7.5 3-pointers per game, connecting on 39.2% of them. With these numbers, he was the team’s best 3-point shooter.
When noting his strengths, Mike Luciano of Raptors Rupture mentioned Etienne’s long-range shooting among other aspects of his game:
When he’s in a zone, he shows the blinding speed, ability to harass ball-handlers on the defensive end, and 3-point shooting that could help him hit the ground running at the professional level.
When asked by Rookie Wire to describe his game, Etienne said he can “impact the game in many different ways.” He specifically mentioned his 3-point shooting, toughness and leadership.
During the interview with Rookie Wire, Etienne also mentioned playing both guard positions, specifically speaking to his “ability to score the ball from either guard spot.” So he is more of a scoring guard than a traditional point guard — he averaged 2.5 assists per game during his sophomore campaign.
At 6-feet-2-inches, his potential as an NBA point guard could be limited as well, so he would likely need to improve his playmaking ability if he were to play at both guard spots in the NBA.
Scoring-wise, Etienne could be more efficient. He shot 37.1% from the field as a sophomore with 12.9 attempts per game, but the percentage is actually a little lower than his 39.2% on 3-pointers. Most of his attempts were 3-pointers — he averaged 7.5 3-pointers per game — but it’s telling of how his scoring ability has relied mainly on long-range shooting.
When speaking with Rookie Wire, Etienne acknowledged that he “wasn’t necessarily the most efficient” on drives this season, so he said he had been working on “finishing around the rim.”