Nets Rumors

Nets Notes: Durant, Irving, LeVert, Luwawu-Cabarrot

Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been “brutally honest” with their input into the team’s coaching situation, but neither will be in Orlando to watch interim coach Jacque Vaughn in action, writes Brian Murphy of The New York Post. General manager Sean Marks discussed their input during a Friday interview with WFAN.

“It would not be smart of us if we were not to involve some of these key players in this decision,” Marks said. “Kevin, Kyrie, we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they need. They’ve been brutally honest so far. I’m not going to be asking Kevin to come down to Orlando to evaluate anybody. When you get to the level of those elite players, they have ultimate goals in mind. They want to be held accountable. Kevin and Kyrie have told me they want to win a championship in Brooklyn.”

Marks noted that Irving is “doing well” in his recovery from shoulder surgery in March, but implied that the team never gave serious consideration to having Irving or Durant play in Orlando, citing the “risk-reward” factor and how it could affect the franchise in the long run.

There’s more Nets news this morning:

  • With a severely short-handed team headed for the NBA’s restart, Brooklyn’s next decision will be how much to use Caris LeVert, Lewis adds in the same piece. LeVert has a history of being injured and is considered the team’s best trade asset if it decides to pursue a third star. “I don’t make those decisions; I feel like that’s outside of me. That’s Sean and ownership. That’s not really my job to think of those things,” LeVert said.
  • The Nets’ roster woes will provide an opportunity for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to prove he deserves a larger role, Lewis states in a separate story. After being waived in a preseason, then working his way onto the roster through a two-way contract and a pair of 10-day deals, Luwawu-Cabarrot should see plenty of playing time in Orlando. “It’s huge for us, huge for me,” he said. “Obviously, we’re going to miss them. But as we say this year and as it’s always been, it’s next man up. You have to stay ready and be ready to play … I’m sure they’ll support us and we’ll try and do the best job we can.”
  • Matt Brooks and Chris Milholen of NetsDaily discuss potential replacements for DeAndre Jordan, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Joe Harris Never Seriously Considered Sitting Out

The already depleted Nets would have been in even bigger trouble heading to Orlando if forward and impending free agent Joe Harris had decided to sit out the remainder of the season. Fortunately for Brooklyn, Harris never seriously considered that option, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

“It’s obviously stuff that you have to think about and discuss. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t like it was a difficult decision for me,” Harris said in a Zoom call with the media. “I’m healthy. I’m going to play and finish out the season.”

Despite tumbling revenue around the league due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harris is expected to get a healthy raise. He is on the back end of a two-year, $16MM deal.

Harris is averaging a career-high 13.9 PPM, 4.3 RPG and 2.1 APG this season while shooting 41.2% from long range. He suffered a significant ankle sprain in Brooklyn’s last game before play was halted, so his declaration of good health is significant.

“It’s obviously a different circumstance given everything that’s going on and the time off that we’ve had,” Harris said. “But the way that I look at it is like, ‘All right, we have eight games left. This is the equivalent of Game 74 in the regular season.’ I wouldn’t take the last eight games off of the season just to get ready for free agency.”

A comparable player heading to free agency, the Wizards’ Davis Bertans, opted to sit out the remainder of the season. Bertans has a history of ACL injuries.

The Nets will be without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Orlando. DeAndre Jordan won’t play after testing positive for COVID-19 while guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is also recovering from the virus, is undecided about playing.  Nicolas Claxton is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons.

Nets Notes: Vaughn, Durant, Irving

Given how depleted Brooklyn’s roster is as a result of injuries and opt-outs, head coach Jacque Vaughn will face a tall task in Orlando this summer as he looks to help the Nets secure a playoff spot and make some noise in the postseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Vaughn, who took over for former head coach Kenny Atkinson less than a week before the NBA went on hiatus in March, won his first two games, but will be without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton, and possibly Spencer Dinwiddie when play resumes.

Given the unusual circumstances, the Nets’ evaluation of Vaughn this summer will be about more than just his record in Orlando, general manager Sean Marks said on Wednesday, as Lewis writes in a separate story.

“It’s completely unfair to say it’s going to be about wins and losses at this point. Jacque has been a prominent part of this organization the last four years,” Marks said. “We know what Jacque is about and the type of person he is and the character and the leader that he is. … We’ll just see what happens down the line.”

Although the Nets are considered a good bet to conduct a full-fledged coaching search at season’s end, reports have indicated that Vaughn has a legitimate chance to claim the permanent job. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reiterated that point during his Woj Pod podcast this week, suggesting that he’d take Vaughn against the field if he were predicting Brooklyn’s 2020/21 head coach (hat tip to RealGM).

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Despite their gutted roster, the Nets never entertained the possibility of skipping the NBA restart altogether, Marks said on Wednesday, per Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. “Look, we have a job to do,” the GM told reporters. “Again, we have to bring a team to Orlando. We will bring a team to Orlando. We will go down there and we will compete. That’s our jobs here.”
  • Although Kevin Durant won’t be active – or in attendance – when the Nets resume play later this month, the former MVP will continue to have a voice in the team’s basketball decisions leading up to the 2020/21 season, according to Marks. “He continues to be a very loud voice in terms of where we’re going in the future and what we’re doing and I involve him like the other players and staff and how we’ll continue to build this team and how we move forward,” Marks told reporters, including Ian Begley of The GM added that he’s been in touch with Durant regularly since the hiatus began in March.
  • Marks also confirmed on Wednesday that Kyrie Irving won’t be part of the Nets’ traveling party to Orlando this summer, writes Begley.

Lou Williams Expected To Play In Restart; Beal Still Undecided

Seven players so far have opted out of the NBA’s restart this summer, but Clippers guard Lou Williams is unlikely to join that group. Despite previously expressing uncertainty about his status, Williams is expected to suit up for the Clippers as they pursue a title at Walt Disney World, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday.

“As far as Lou, all indications (are) that yes, he is (playing),” Rivers said on a Zoom call, per Ohm Youngmisuk of “Obviously, up until we get on the plane, anything can happen. But I do expect Lou to be with us. I would be very surprised if he’s not.”

Meanwhile, another high-scoring guard, Bradley Beal, remains uncertain about his status for Orlando, as Youngmisuk writes in a separate story. Beal’s teammate Davis Bertans has already pulled out due to injury concerns ahead of his upcoming free agency. Beal’s backcourt mate and fellow All-Star John Wall won’t be in attendance either, as he continues to focus on his Achilles rehab and a 2020/21 return.

According to Youngmisuk, Beal is considering health factors too as he weighs his options.

“I have yet to make (my decision),” Beal told reporters on Wednesday. “I am still working my tail off every single day as if I am playing. It is more or less a decision that will come down to the medical staff and coming back from zero to 100, and then I have some nagging stuff from the end of the year that we are trying to clean up, too. We are looking at it from all angles. I am definitely working out every single day here. It is good to be back in the facility. … I am not swayed one way or another.”

Here’s more on certain players’ participation decisions:

Nets Notes: Durant, Practice Facility, Chandler

Nets star forward Kevin Durant, who won’t participate in the NBA’s restart as he continues to rehab his Achilles injury, won’t accompany the team to the Walt Disney World campus, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

The news doesn’t come as a real surprise. Teams’ traveling parties are limited to 35 people and Durant has said he’s not sure he’d want to participate in the Disney restart even if he were fully healthy. Since he now won’t make his Brooklyn debut until December, there’s no urgency for KD to ramp up his 5-on-5 work in July and August, so it makes more sense for him to continue his rehab program away from the team for now.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Brooklyn’s practice facility reopened on Tuesday after being closed for several days following DeAndre Jordan‘s and Spencer Dinwiddie‘s positive coronavirus tests, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooklyn is one of a handful of NBA clubs that has closed its facility amid COVID-19 cases, as we detailed earlier today.
  • Appearing on The Court Vision podcast with Jameer Nelson and Ben Stinar, Nets forward Wilson Chandler further explained why he has decided to opt out of the NBA’s return. “For me, personally, I think like the unknown of this whole COVID thing and just having a grandmother who’s 87 – she just turned 87 – and battling all types of illnesses and having young kids, I think it’s more important for me to be at home with my family and taking care of my family,” Chandler said, as Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype relays.
  • Alex Schiffer of The Athletic explores how the Nets will fill the hole in their rotation created by Jordan’s opt-out, and briefly touches on Jacque Vaughn‘s candidacy for the team’s permanent head coaching job.

DeAndre Jordan Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Won’t Go To Orlando

Nets center DeAndre Jordan has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not join the team for the league’s restart in Orlando, he tweeted on Monday night.

Jordan said he learned of the positive test on Sunday evening and it was confirmed on Monday.

The news on Jordan is another huge blow for the Nets. High-scoring guard Spencer Dinwiddie revealed on Monday he had tested positive with symptoms and is unsure whether he’ll participate in the restart.

Brooklyn’s roster has been decimated by injuries, defections, and positive coronavirus tests. Superstars Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) won’t participate. Nicolas Claxton is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons.

Teams can sign substitute players to replace those who voluntarily opt out or contract the coronavirus, so Chandler and Jordan are eligible to be replaced, but injured players like Durant, Irving, and Claxton aren’t. Brooklyn is signing Justin Anderson to replace Chandler; the team will also add a substitute player in place of Jordan, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Durant was one of four Nets players to test positive for COVID-19 shortly after the suspension of play in March.

After signing a multi-year contract with the Nets last offseason, Jordan averaged 8.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG in 56 games while splitting time at center with Jarrett Allen. Under new head coach Jacque Vaughn, Jordan took Allen’s spot in the starting lineup right before the season was suspended in March.

Dinwiddie Tests Positive For Virus; Orlando Status Uncertain

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has tested positive for COVID-19 and his playing status for the league’s restart in Orlando is now uncertain, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

Dinwiddie had been practicing in New York when he experienced symptoms. Dinwiddie said he had been “diligent” about protecting himself from the virus in recent months. He flew privately to New York and tested negative for the novel coronavirus multiple times after arriving there.

“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive,” Dinwiddie said. “Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando.”

Dinwiddie plans to remain in self-quarantine and re-evaluate after 14 days, Charania adds.

Brooklyn enters the restart with the seventh-best record in the conference. However, its team has already been depleted by injuries and defection.

Superstars Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) won’t participate. Nicolas Claxton is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons.

Free agent forward Justin Anderson has agreed to sign with the Nets for the remainder of the season but if Dinwiddie can’t play, Brooklyn’s backcourt will take a major hit. In 64 games this season, Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 PPG, 6.8 APG and 3.5 RPG. The Nets did add some depth in that area last week by signing free agent Tyler Johnson.

The NBA announced on Friday that 16 of 302 players had tested positive on June 23. It’s unclear whether Dinwiddie was one of those 16 players or if he tested positive later in the week.

Durant was one of four Nets players to test positive for COVID-19 shortly after the suspension of play in March.

Teams heading to Orlando must submit rosters on Wednesday but they can still replace a player that tests positive for coronavirus or elects not to play, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The player being replaced would be ineligible to return. In Dinwiddie’s case, it appears that a decision on his status would be made later in the month.

List Of Players Opting Out Of NBA’s Restart

The NBA will resume its 2019/20 season in July, with the league’s top 22 teams taking part in the restart at Walt Disney World in Florida. However, not every player on those 22 clubs’ rosters will be participating in the resumption of the season.

Players will be permitted to voluntarily opt out of the restart for any reason without facing a fine or suspension from the NBA or their respective teams. A player who opts out would lose a portion of his pay for 2019/20, forfeiting 1/92.6th of his salary for each game missed (up to a maximum of 14 games). Otherwise though, he wouldn’t receive any additional penalty.

If a player voluntarily opts out anytime before August 14, his team can sign a “substitute player” to replace him. The replacement player will receive a rest-of-season, minimum-salary contract and will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, regardless of how many years of NBA service he has. Meanwhile, the player being replaced becomes ineligible to participate in the remainder of the ’19/20 season.

We’ll use this space to keep tabs on the players opting out and the substitute players replacing them. Here are the players who have voluntarily withdrawn from participating:

Trevor Ariza, F, Trail Blazers (story)

Ariza would have missed a one-month visitation period with his son if he had opted to play this summer, since family members aren’t permitted to join players on the NBA’s Disney campus until the end of August.

Jaylen Adams, who finished second this season in NBA G League MVP voting, will take Ariza’s spot on the roster as a substitute player.

Ariza, meanwhile, has a $12.8MM salary for 2020/21, but it’s only partially guaranteed for $1.8MM, so he’s no lock to remain on Portland’s roster beyond this season.

Avery Bradley, G, Lakers (story)

Bradley is the most intriguing player to have opted out so far, since he’s the only one who’s a member of a legitimate championship contender. Although Bradley has been among the players voicing concerns about the resumption of the season drawing attention away from the fight for social justice, family considerations – including the well-being of his three children – were said to be the primary factor in his decision.

Bradley has a $5MM player option for 2020/21, so he could return to the Lakers next season. As for his replacement, L.A. has signed J.R. Smith to a rest-of-season deal.

Davis Bertans, F, Wizards (story)

The first player to opt out of the restart, Bertans did so because he has a history of ACL injuries and doesn’t want to jeopardize his health ahead of a potentially big payday this summer. He projects to be one of 2020’s top unrestricted free agents, following a career year, and his decision won’t affect the Wizards’ desire to re-sign him — it’s still considered a top priority for the franchise.

If Washington were higher in the standings, Bertans may have made a different decision, but the team faces long odds to even make the playoffs. And even if the Wizards do defy those odds and claim the No. 8 seed, the Bucks would likely make quick work of them in round one.

Point guard Jerian Grant has replaced Bertans on the Wizards’ roster as a subsitute player.

Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Mavericks (story)

Cauley-Stein and his partner are expecting a newborn child in July, prompting him to skip the restart to spend time with his family. With a $2.29MM player option for 2020/21, he could still return to Dallas next season.

Despite missing Cauley-Stein and injured big man Dwight Powell in their frontcourt, the Mavs didn’t make it a priority to add another center. With Courtney Lee and Jalen Brunson also on the shelf due to injuries, Dallas instead focused on adding backcourt depth, reaching a deal with veteran guard Trey Burke to become the substitute player for Cauley-Stein.

Wilson Chandler, F, Nets (story)

An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, Chandler has decided to use the summer to spend more time with his family, including his grandmother (who raised him) and his three children.

Like the Mavs, Brooklyn has been hit hard by injuries, with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Nicolas Claxton also sidelined for the return to play. Those injured players aren’t eligible to be replaced by a substitute player, but Chandler is. That substitute player will be Justin Anderson, whom the Nets expect to provide some depth on the wing.

Thabo Sefolosha, F, Rockets (story)

Sefolosha, who opted out on July 1, had previously expressed concerns about heading to Walt Disney World for an extended duration of time, away from his family with the coronavirus pandemic still on the rise, calling it a “huge commitment.” He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this fall, so it’s possible he has played his last game with Houston.

The Rockets intend to sign Luc Mbah a Moute as a replacement player for Sefolosha. Mbah a Moute has previous experience with Houston, so it should be a quick readjustment for the veteran forward.

In addition to the players who are voluntarily opting out of the restart for a wide variety of reasons, there will also be players who opt out or are replaced as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Here are the players who won’t participate in the remainder of the season due to a positive COVID-19 test:

  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Nets (story)
    • The Nets haven’t signed a substitute player to replace Jordan yet, but reportedly plan to do so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jay Scrubb Has Interviewed With Nets

  • Jay Scrubb, who has opted to go pro this year instead of playing at Louisville, has had Zoom interviews with 22 NBA teams so far, including the Knicks and Nets, agent Corey Marcum tells Adam Zagoria of

Nets To Sign Justin Anderson

The Nets are signing free agent forward Justin Anderson to a contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Anderson will serve as a substitute player for Brooklyn, who lost combo forward Wilson Chandler for the season after he announced his intentions to remain home and care for his family on Sunday. The team is also slated to play without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Nicolas Claxton due to injuries.

Teams are required to submit their final rosters by Wednesday, July 1 for the NBA restart, which is slated to commence in Orlando later next month.

Anderson, who was drafted No. 21 in 2015 by Dallas, spent part of this season with Brooklyn’s G League affiliate in Long Island. He earned a 10-day contract with the Nets in January, later being released by the organization.

Anderson holds prior experience with the Mavericks, Sixers and Hawks in his young NBA career, most recently joining the Wizards for training camp last fall. He owns career-averages of 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 13.1 minutes per contest.