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Nets are quiet heading into NBA draft

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Brooklyn Nets held a casual workout for a half-dozen prospects on Wednesday leading to Thursday's NBA draft.

Having traded away their first and second-round picks, the Nets won't be making any selections unless they are involved in a trade.

Nets general manager Billy King said it was unlikely that he'd be able to acquire a first-round pick, though he might be able to get a second rounder.

In what is widely considered to be a deep draft, the general manager expressed an unwillingness to give too much away in order to get a pick.

''I doubt (that) we'll get in the first round. There's a chance we can get a second-round pick,'' King said.

''We can get (into the first round). But what do you have to give up to get there? You weigh the player you're going to have to trade, or the cash that you're going to have to spend, and you (ask yourself) `Is it worth it?'''

In response to a report about Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov possibly ordering a reduction in payroll in order to earn a $1 billion valuation for the team, King stated that he is free to make moves he feels are in the best competitive interest of his club.

''At the end of the day, we're going to do what it takes to win. But we're going to be smart,'' King said. ''We're not just going to spend money on a pick just to spend it. We're going to try to do things wisely.''

King had nothing new on the status of Kevin Garnett, who has one year remaining on his deal with the Nets. The day after the season ended, the general manager told Garnett to take some time to consider returning for what would be his 20th season in the league.

King expressed optimism that the 38-year-old center will be with the team when the Nets open training camp in September.

''We've had some conversations,'' King said. ''He's under contract. I expect him to be back next year.

Garnett's possible retirement, and the vacancy his departure would leave in the front court, will not have an impact on the organization's draft plans, according to King.

If the Nets do acquire a pick, King made it clear that they'd choose the best player available, rather than draft to fill a particular hole.

''I always look at it (that) you've got to take the best talent,'' King said. ''If you bypass a talent, (and) go on specific need, I think you can make mistakes.''

The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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