The good news for the Nets is they have a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The bad news is it isn't really theirs.
With the 2016 draft come and gone, this seems like a good time to touch on the Nets' draft-pick situation, which is dire. As part of the blockbuster draft-night trade in 2013 that sent the Nets Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Nets returned to the Boston Celtics -- among other things -- first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, with the latter two being unprotected.
Additionally, the Celtics have the right to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017. This is where the ugliness comes in.
The 2017 draft is projected to be strong, certainly stronger than 2016 with incoming Duke freshman big man Harry Giles currently projected as the No. 1 overall pick by DraftExpress. Of the projected top-10 picks via DraftExpress, eight are incoming freshmen, including the top-rated player in the class of 2016 according to Rivals, Kansas-bound wing Josh Jackson.
The aforementioned eight freshmen including the top four in Rivals' final class of 2016 ranking: Jackson, Giles, Duke's Jayson Tatum and North Carolina State's Dennis Smith.
The Nets are very much in the conversation as having the worst roster in the NBA going into 2016-17. They have a first-time General Manager, Sean Marks, charged with cleaning up the mess left behind by Billy King, and a rookie head coach in Kenny Atkinson who, in fairness, has been universally-lauded as capable and ready for the big chair.
Still, the team is going to be bad, likely bad enough to be in the mix for the No. 1 pick, and they will have nothing to show for it because they won't have their pick. So while the Nets suffer, the Celtics will simply continue to benefit from that suffering.
Barring more transactions, the next time the Nets will have their own first-round pick is 2019.