Nets Notes: Bembry, Irving, Aldridge

The Nets intend to keep DeAndre’ Bembry on their roster, fully guaranteeing his minimum-salary contract for 2021/22, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Bembry’s salary was already partially guaranteed for $1,250,000 and his overall cap hit is just $1,669,178, so the cost of guaranteeing the remainder of his salary is modest, making it a relatively easy decision for the Nets. The swingman’s performance this season helped seal the deal — he has averaged 6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.0 SPG with a .599 FG% and .462 3PT% in a part-time role (20.3 MPG) across 32 games.

Here’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • After scoring 22 points in his season debut on Wednesday, Kyrie Irving sidestepped questions about whether he might get the COVID-19 vaccine and said he was just happy to be back on the court, as Nick Friedell of ESPN relays. Irving’s teammates were also thrilled to have him back. “I just missed his presence around the locker room, his energy, his vibe around the team,” Kevin Durant said. “And then his game is just so beautiful. It makes the game so much easier for everybody out there. It was amazing to see him out on the floor again.”
  • With a two-game home stand on tap this weekend, the Nets won’t have Irving on the floor again until Monday, when they travel to Portland to make up one of the games that was postponed in December. James Harden said the team is still adjusting to the on-again, off-again nature of Irving’s availability. “It’s going to take some time [to get used to],” Harden said, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “… But we’ve been a resilient group all year and [we’ll] eventually figure it out. Hopefully he’s able to play every single game. Home games and away games. But until then we’ll figure it out, we’ll keep pushing and find ways to come up with wins.”
  • LaMarcus Aldridge has played in three games since exiting the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but he admitted this week that he’s still dealing with the aftereffects of his case of COVID-19. “It was my first time getting it, so I think it definitely hit me harder than most,” Aldridge said, adding that he experienced “all the symptoms,” as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “I’m still trying to get my legs back, get my wind back, and just feel normal again.” Aldridge acknowledged that his history of cardiac issues put him at greater risk when he contracted the virus.
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