Nets trade for Marshon Brooks

Updated: June 24, 2011, 6:40 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King is notorious for his draft-night deals.

He made another one -- and got his man -- on Thursday night.

King -- who has now made draft-day deals in eight of his 12 drafts as an NBA GM -- moved up from No. 27 to No. 25 to snag Providence senior shooting guard Marshon Brooks in a trade with the Boston Celtics. In exchange, the Celtics received Purdue senior forward/center JaJuan Johnson, along with New Jersey's second-round selection in 2014.

"We tried to trade up to get him even higher than 25," said King, who had Brooks ranked 15th on his draft board. "But fortunately, we were able to get our guy."

Brooks, 22, was one of college basketball's most prolific scorers last season, averaging 24.6 points per game for the Friars. He set a Big East single-game scoring record on Feb. 23, dropping in 52 points against Notre Dame.

"I'm very excited to play for this organization," said Brooks, who was born at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J. "I know they have good management and have made good decisions in the past year. I'm looking forward to it."

Also, the Nets have acquired the draft rights to the 31st overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Bojan Bogdanovic, from the Minnesota Timberwolves, in exchange for the Nets' 2013 second round pick and cash considerations, King announced Friday.

Minnesota acquired the pick in a previous transaction with the Miami Heat.

Bogdanovic, 6-foot-8, averaged 18.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals during the 2010-11 season with Cibona VIP in the Adriatic League. He shot .452 (146-for-323) from the field and .745 (117-for-157) from the line.

Bogdanovic will have to be bought out of his contract with VIP Zagreb. Otherwise, he won't be eligible to play in the NBA until 2012-13.

According to King, Bogdanovic worked out at the PNY Center -- the Nets' training facility -- on Thursday.

New Jersey also selected Maryland sophomore forward/center Jordan Williams with the 36th pick.

"He's a banger, a rebounder, and rebounding is a big part of finishing defense," head coach Avery Johnson said of Williams, who averaged 16.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Terrapins last season. "We finished 15th in defense, and that's not good enough. So we feel we've addressed some needs."

King believes Brooks will have a chance to step in right away and challenge incumbent Anthony Morrow for the starting 2-guard position.

"That's why we're bringing him in," King said. "He's a basketball player that knows how to put the ball in the hole and do a lot of things well on the court, and we were surprised and shocked that he was there."

The Nets envision Brooks potentially playing in the same backcourt with superstar point guard Deron Williams, giving them a dynamic scoring duo in the backcourt. New Jersey ranked 28th in the NBA in scoring last season (94.2 ppg).

"We needed to get more athletic at the 2 position," Johnson said. "We feel he can help us cause more turnovers and get more fast-break points. We feel we're improved in both of those areas. In Deron, Marshon and Morrow, with those three guys at the 1 and 2 along with (Jordan) Farmar and Sundiata (Gaines), we feel we have a lot of depth."

Brooks was supposed to work out with the Nets two weeks ago, but backed out due to an ankle injury. King, however, said that didn't deter the Nets from moving up to take him.

"We had all the information we needed," King said. "We felt comfortable."

Although Brooks is considered a player who can score in a variety of ways from all areas of the floor, his defense has been criticized. King believes that Johnson will work with him to improve in that facet of his game.

"He's a scorer. He's proven," King said. "He doesn't have to play right away."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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