The four-team deal that brought James Harden to Brooklyn is now official, and Nets coach Steve Nash put him in the starting lineup right away, writes Malika Andrews of ESPN. Harden hasn’t been able to practice with his new team, but he was on the court for today’s game against the Magic.
“I think everyone’s excited,” Nash said. “We welcome one of the best players in the game to our team, so the mood is great. This is a moving target that we have to try to incorporate him as we go here and learn on the fly, adapt and try to jell.”
Nash doesn’t expect much of a learning curve for Harden, who is among the most gifted offensive players in the league. Harden won’t be on a minutes restriction, but Nash plans a “see as we go” philosophy on how much to play him.
“(He is) more or less a full go,” Nash added. “But we don’t want to run the batteries down on our new Christmas present this early.”
There’s more from Brooklyn:
- Completion of the deal means the Nets’ new Big Three is almost together. Kyrie Irving is missing another game today due to health and safety protocols, Andrews tweets, and his return may be a few days away. Nash wants Irving to go through a few workouts before returning to the lineup (Twitter link).
- Nicolas Claxton could be ready next month, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The second-year center has been sidelined with tendinopathy in his right knee. “I think Nic is probably closer to the midseason break than he is to now,” Nash said. “Sometime in February for sure. But no setbacks, just working through it.” (Twitter link)
- An article on NetsDaily examines some of the options for filling the team’s three open roster spots. The Nets expect to have point guards Jeremiah Martin and Elie Okobo on the roster of their G League affiliate in Long Island, and both have NBA experience. Shooting guard Kaiser Gates and center Tariq Owens, a pair of G League veterans, are two other possibilities. Some other names to consider are Michael Beasley and Jamal Crawford, who both signed with Brooklyn before the summer restart, along with Andre Roberson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Dewayne Dedmon.