Dennis Schröder had a splashy Nets debut on Saturday. The veteran point guard racked up 15 points and 12 assists in a 20-point win over San Antonio after he was acquired in a trade with the Raptors.
“He was able to show his ability to be a point guard on the floor,” coach Jacque Vaughn said, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Whether that was getting plays from me on the fly, organizing and getting our group into good sets, and just the overall feel of understanding the flow of the game, what’s needed. You saw his ability to have a toughness about him, whether that was guarding [Victor Wembanyama] or guarding other perimeter guys.”
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- Forward Keita Bates-Diop saw four minutes of action on his Nets debut on Saturday, Lewis notes in a separate story. He was acquired from the Suns in the Royce O’Neale trade. “Keita brings high IQ, intellect guy that’s still getting better. We’ll be able to see how he can impact on both ends of the floor,” Vaughn said. “We got a chance to play against him the first time in Phoenix, so knowing he’s been able to fit into systems and be able to space the floor but also be a traditional big, just because he does have a high IQ.”
- Dennis Smith Jr. got a scare on deadline day when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted he would be going to Toronto in a trade. That tweet was quickly corrected but Smith’s phone blew up with messages afterward, James Herbert of CBS Sports writes. Smith didn’t want to be on the move. “I ain’t even get no pregame nap that day. You know what I’m saying? I ain’t even take no nap. I was sick,” Smith said. “I went outside, took a little walk, just tried to decompress real quick. But it was crazy. It was crazy.” Nets assistant GM Andy Birdsong called Smith to assure him he was staying put.
- In the aftermath of the Nets’ moves, Lewis took a deep dive on what the future approach might be. They have seven tradable first-round picks to find another high-impact player to pair up with Mikal Bridges and should be in position to re-sign Nic Claxton while also having the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception at their disposal this offseason.