EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Uncertainty from an abundance of trade talk involving teams with high picks in Thursday's draft have the Nets feeling good about selecting 10th.
Team president Rod Thorn admitted the Nets have tried to get involved in the potential movement. They would love to jump up and grab projected top-5 pick UCLA forward Kevin Love, and have discussed moving back. Thorn said Tuesday morning that neither was likely at that time, but he wasn't upset.
The Nets are confident one of the five or six players on their list will be available when they pick.
"If you can get the first pick, I would like to get involved in it," Thorn said. "Otherwise our feeling is we're going to get a good player at 10 and we'll see who falls."
The players the Nets would consider with the 10th pick are guards Eric Gordon of Indiana, UCLA's Russell Westbrook and Arizona's Jerryd Bayless, Italian forward Danilo Gallinari, Stanford center Brook Lopez and West Virginia forward Joe Alexander.
It's expected at least one will get to the Nets and one could be a guard.
According to a source, the agents for Gordon and Bayless two players who didn't work out for New Jersey because they thought they would be gone at 10 contacted the Nets and asked if they wanted to interview their clients when they're in the area for the draft. The Nets said yes.
"Normally it takes until the day of the draft before you have a reasonable feel for what other people are doing," Thorn said. "But because there are so many trade scenarios out there it's hard to tell what people are doing."
Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo and Love will be gone when the Nets pick. With Gallinari now seemingly going to the Knicks at six and Alexander to Milwaukee at eight, that leaves four players on the Nets' list for three spots.
The Nets would be thrilled if the rock-solid Gordon, explosive and defensive-minded Westbrook, the versatile Gallinari, or Lopez, a 7-footer who can score, were on the board when they pick. The Nets, who also own picks 21 and 40, are looking for size, shooting, defense and depth this off-season.
Thorn wouldn't rule out a trade either. He said he received four calls Tuesday in a 2 1/2-hour span from teams interesting in either the No. 10 or the No. 21 pick. Thorn said the No. 21 is especially in demand.
League sources said the Blazers called the Nets about a possible deal. The Nets would send a package that includes the No. 10 to Portland for No. 13, 33 and either Steve Blake or Jarrett Jack.
The Nets probably wouldn't do that unless none of the players on their list was there, which is nearly impossible, and then they would use 13 on Brook's twin brother Robin Lopez or Ohio State center Kosta Koufos.
"We think there are 12 or 13 real good players out there," Thorn said. "Obviously there are some that we would be happier with than others. But we think there are some good players."
If the Nets go with a smaller player such as Gordon at 10, they likely would go with size at 21. N.C. State's J.J. Hickson, California's Ryan Anderson, Florida's Marreese Speights and Rider's Jason Thompson are possibilities.
Even if they go big with their first pick, the Nets could look big at 21 or go for Memphis swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts if he's available.
"We obviously have some holes to fill," Thorn said. "We need depth. It's a draft we need to do well in."