Approximately 50 NBA personnel flocked to Barclays Center this week for the Legends Classic, some with legitimate aspirations of snaring LSU freshman sensation Ben Simmons at the top of the Lottery.
Nets Director of Player Personnel Gregg Polinsky was among those present on Monday evening when Simmons finished with 21 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists in an 81-80 loss to Marquette. Polinsky was there to watch more than just Simmons, but there was great irony attached to his presence.
Simmons played Monday and Tuesday at the home of the Nets, but there is virtually no chance the 6-foot-10 Australian-born lefty will make Brooklyn his NBA home. The Nets do not own their first-round pick in 2016, which went to the Boston Celtics as part of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce draft night in 2013. Also in that now-failed deal, the Celtics get the Nets' 2018 first-round pick and have the rights to swap first-round picks in 2017.
On topic, the Celtics were represented at Barclays this week by GM Danny Ainge and Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge.
Tied for the third-worst record in the NBA right now at 3-11, that Nets pick is looking like it will fall somewhere in the Lottery come springtime. All of this has led to frustration from Nets fans, a few of which sat behind press row behind the home basket Tuesday.
The Nets are in a bad place draft-wise, with no Simmons or anybody comparable coming to Brooklyn, but the Knicks are dealing with their own draft-pick calamity right now.
Just like the Nets, the Knicks do not own their 2016 first-round pick, which was given up as part of the Andrea Bargnani. The Knicks obviously got the bad end of that deal and are now left to wonder what having a player of Simmons' caliber would be like.
In fairness, the Knicks have played better than expected and could find themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff race down the road, but that likely won't be any consolation if Simmons pans out as people believe he will in time.