Nets Notes: Bembry, Aldridge, Griffin, Harris

DeAndre’ Bembry‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Nets is only partially guaranteed for $750K, but based on his performance as of late, it seems like a foregone conclusion that the team will be comfortable fully guaranteeing that deal, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Bembry has taken on a larger role with Joe Harris and Bruce Brown out of action and has responded as well as Brooklyn could’ve hoped.

“He gives us some speed and athleticism; he gives us a defender out there who can guard No. 1 options on the other team, and he also is a cutter offensively for us. So he’s been great,” head coach Steve Nash said. “We’ve been working with him to really understand his role, and I think he’s been fantastic with his willingness to compete and to grow as a player. So, really proud of his effort and he’s getting better.”

Bembry scored 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go along with nine rebounds in 35 minutes during Saturday’s loss to Phoenix. Bembry won’t play that much – or that well – every night, but he looks like a good bet to continue getting regular minutes going forward, having impressed his star teammates with his recent play.

“He played incredible [on Saturday] — playing defense on the ball, cutting to the rim, making himself available, rebounding,” Kevin Durant said, per Lewis. “We’re going to need that from him. He was a spark for us and he was one of the bright spots out there. So hopefully he can continue to build on this and keep getting better.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at how LaMarcus Aldridge went from retiring in the spring to becoming a crucial part of the Nets’ lineup in the fall. Aldridge, who inked a minimum-salary contract with the club in the offseason, has been one of this season’s best bargains so far.
  • Having been displaced by Aldridge in the starting lineup, Blake Griffin has been out of Brooklyn’s rotation entirely over the last couple games, which he admits he didn’t see coming, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN relays. Griffin said he talked to former teammate DeAndre Jordan, who was removed from the rotation last season, about how to handle the demotion. “He did a really great job with it,” Griffin said. “I told him that. That is how I am going to try to do it as well.”
  • Joe Harris‘ contract includes a $500K bonus that he can earn if the Nets win the championship, but he only qualifies for it if he plays at least 65 regular season games, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Harris’ absence due to ankle surgery appears likely to take that bonus off the table for this season, even if Brooklyn makes a title run.
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