Dzanan Musa

Nets Notes: Graham, Carroll, Davis, Allen

After two years with the Hornets, Treveon Graham signed with the Nets during the offseason because he wanted a chance to compete for serious playing time, relays Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily. Graham appeared in just 27 games as a rookie, but worked his way into Charlotte’s rotation last year, averaging 16.7 minutes in 63 games. He accepted a one-year deal with a team option to come to Brooklyn in hopes of showing that he’s worthy of a larger role.

“What I told them as they were recruiting me was I wanted to go somewhere that I can compete for a job,” Graham said. “I understand nothing is going to be guaranteed to me. I’m going to fight for my minutes. That’s something they liked about me; how I am and how hard I work.”

Getting minutes won’t be easy to get as the Nets are stocked at the wing with DeMarre CarrollAllen Crabbe, Joe HarrisCaris LeVertDzanan MusaJared Dudley and Theo Pinson. However, Graham is eager for the competition.

“I feel like it’s up to me,” he said. “If I play and how much I play is up to me. It’s up to me to get in the gym and work. It’s up to me to show that I deserve to be on the court. I don’t want anything handed to me and that’s why I came here.”

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • Entering his second year with the Nets, Carroll is grateful that the team brought in more veterans this summer to help with leadership roles, Fonseca writes in a separate story. In addition to Davis, Brooklyn signed 30-year old free agent Ed Davis and traded for the 33-year-old Dudley. “It’s just great to have another person who’s been through the fire and understands what it takes to win,” Carroll said.
  • Davis has become a valuable teacher for 20-year-old center Jarrett Allen, according to Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Davis, who has been in the league for eight years, has been sharing his knowledge of the finer points of post play and challenging Allen in practice. “It’s been helpful,” Allen said. “Ed Davis is amazing at rebounding. It’s helping me get ready for the season. … If he gets an offensive rebound, Coach is going to be yelling, and you don’t want Coach yelling. It’s my job to keep him off the glass.”
  • This year’s draft picks, Musa and Rodions Kurucs, won’t object if they are asked to spend some time in the G League, relays Net Income on NetsDaily

NYC Notes: Fizdale, Musa, Hardaway, Crabbe

The Knicks have not been a very good basketball team for years and new head coach David Fizdale knows it. So when a reporter asked him if his starting lineups will be dictated by anything other than “best player plays,” he had an adamant response, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.

 “Didn’t I answer that question already?” Knicks coach Fizdale said today. “No one is promised a starting position. I got freedom to do what I want to do from my bosses over there. So it’s open. Don’t matter if you make a lot of money or you make a little money. If you earn the spot you play. That’s it.”

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr., both starters last season, will make $18.6MM and $17.3MM this year, respectively, while Courtney Lee will make a cool $12.3MM in 2018/19. And while Kanter and Hardaway will likely start again this season for the Knicks, the other three positions remain open, especially with franchise player Kristaps Porzingis out with injury.

Fizdale has already been quoted as saying he prefers a bigger guy at the small forward slot, so it’s likely Knicks’ rookie lottery selection Kevin Knox or newcomer Mario Hezonja will start, but Fizdale still hasn’t decided on any lineups to start the season.

“Oh gosh, probably after the last preseason game,” Fizdale said when asked when he’ll make his decision on a Knicks’ lineup. “Because a guy might play great or do a great job the first game then not show up the next three or four, but another guy plays awful early and he starts revving it up late. (So) I don’t think it’s fair for me to start making decisions until we get out of training camp. Training camp for me is all the way up until the end.”

There’s more out of the Big Apple this evening:

  • Nets rookie forward Dzanan Musa told reporters at media day (per Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily) that the Nets were one of the last teams he spoke with during the pre-draft process. Musa met with the team the day before the draft, but did not participate in a workout. Per Fonseca, the Nets scouted Musa extensively when he played overseas.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday reports that Hardaway Jr. and his teammates are happy with the Knicks‘ apparent decision to pass on a trade for Jimmy Butler, saying that the players now feel a lot better as a team.
  • Speaking of Butler’ trade buzz, Nets guard Allen Crabbe says he’s heard the rumors come up with his name, but he’s not letting it become a distraction, telling Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily that he’s concentrated on continuing to get better and work hard.

Nets Notes: Pinson, Musa, RHJ, Jefferson, Crabbe

Theo Pinson currently has a standard NBA contract with the Nets, but it sounds like he’ll end up being the team’s second two-way player for the 2018/19 season, along with Alan Williams. As Michael Scotto of The Athletic relays (via Twitter), Nets GM Sean Marks said today that the rookie guard out of UNC “is going to be our (other) two-way guy.”

While Brooklyn’s plans could change between now and the start of the regular season, it wouldn’t be hard for the club to shift Pinson into one of its two-way slots — his contract includes an Exhibit 10 clause, which allows the Nets to convert his deal into a two-way pact before opening night.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Marks isn’t concerned about offseason injuries sustained by Dzanan Musa and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, indicating today that both players should be cleared for training camp, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Speaking of training camp, the Nets still have one opening on their 20-man roster for camp. According to Lewis (Twitter link), former Baylor standout Nuni Omot is one of multiple candidates for that spot.
  • After Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported last week that Richard Jefferson was drawing TV interest, NetsDaily hears from league sources that Jefferson seems likely to join the YES Network for Nets broadcasts unless he gets an NBA contract offer. Jefferson told Marchand that his goal is to “play basketball this season,” but if that doesn’t happen, Nets fans may see Jefferson on YES broadcasts doing game analysis and/or studio work.
  • Speaking to D.J. Sixsmith of CBS Local, Allen Crabbe referred to the Nets as a “match made in heaven” for him. Crabbe had to waive his trade kicker to accommodate a deal to Brooklyn last summer, and seemingly has no regrets about doing so.

Dzanan Musa Reportedly Escapes Serious Injury

The Nets may have dodged a bullet regarding an injury to first-round pick Dzanan Musa, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Musa was carried off the court Sunday while playing for Bosnia in a FIBA world cup qualifying game. There were fears that Musa damaged his Achilles, but it appears to be a less serious injury to his right ankle.

“Thank God, It looked bad, but I will be back for my Brooklyn, for the beginning of the training camp!!!” Musa tweeted.

The Nets aren’t commenting on the situation until they have a chance to examine Musa, but a source close to the player confirmed that only the ankle is affected. Musa made the flight from Sarajevo to New York overnight.

Musa was injured late in an 85-80 loss to the Czech Republic in which he scored 14 points and dished out four assists. Nets assistant coach Pablo Prigioni and a member of Brooklyn’s performance team were with him for the game.

Atlantic Notes: Musa, Dudley, Knicks, Bird

Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa has been bulking up since the draft in hopes of being physically prepared for the NBA, relays NetsDaily. In a weekend interview with with Radiosarajevo in Bosnia, Musa said he has been focused on “physical progress” and has gained 15 pounds this summer.

“As far as my physical predisposition is concerned, no one has to worry,” he said. “I have put on seven kilograms in a 25-day period, so I do not have to have any disadvantages by the start of the season, and I will try to give my team immediate input.”

The 29th overall selection has spent most of the summer at the Nets’ training facility, but recently returned home to Bosnia to participate in a pair of FIBA World Cup qualifying games.

There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:

  • Trade restrictions on the NetsJared Dudley will expire September 20, according to a separate story on NetsDaily outlining important upcoming dates for the team. That date will mark the two-month anniversary of the trade that sent Dudley from Phoenix to Brooklyn, and it will lift the restriction that he can only be dealt in one-for-one trades.
  • The Knicks picked up a pair of promising young players on one-year deals while preserving their cap space for next summer, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders in the season preview for New York. The Knicks signed Mario Hezonja for $6.5MM and Noah Vonleh for a non-guaranteed $1.6MM, giving them a year to see how much they can contribute before making long-term decisions. Blancarte also believes David Fizdale was the right choice to take over as coach.
  • Jabari Bird is under guarded watch at a Boston-area hospital following his arrest Friday on a “domestic incident,” tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Bird is expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow and will be officially charged for his role in the incident.
  • The Raptors have scheduled a press conference for September 21 to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Both were acquired from the Spurs in a mid-July trade.

Nets Notes: Harris, Russell, Walker, Musa

Joe Harris, who re-signed with Brooklyn on a two-year, $16MM deal, believes the Nets‘ young players can make “significant jumps” this season, as NetsDaily relays.

“We definitely have some new pieces to the team, but I think just being around everybody so far this offseason — although it’s relatively young — I think we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic,” said Harris. “If anything, we have an extremely competitive group and I think a lot of our younger players are gonna make significant jumps.”

Harris previously has said that he’s seen D’Angelo Russell take “considerable strides.”

“All I know is I’m really excited for the season to get going and I know everyone else is,” Harris said. “I’m not gonna go out here guaranteeing anything that’s gonna happen. I know we are gonna go out and compete every single night.”

Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • How much success the Nets have this season will depend on the health of Russell, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “As he moves forward, he needs to create those habits and take care of his body,” GM Sean Marks said. “And I think people will be pretty surprised when they see what he’s done. He’s worked extremely hard on purely that, strengthening up his body and so forth.”
  • Kemba Walker spoke about his love for Brooklyn during a youth summer basketball camp appearance recently. “That’s one thing about people from Brooklyn, they’re very loyal, they’re die-hard, they believe in their team,” Walker said (via NetsDaily). “I love Brooklyn. I love going there. I love playing there. It always gives me a chance to come back home, too, so that’s why I love it as well. I like the organization, too. It’s cool.” The point guard is expected to be a free agent in the summer of 2019.
  • No. 29 overall pick Dzanan Musa believes he can play point guard among other positions for the Nets. “I can handle the ball like a lot,” the 6’9″ rookie said (via NetsDaily). “So, point guard, shooting guard, three, whatever. I’m ready to do it.”

Nets Sign Rodions Kurucs To Multiyear Deal

JULY 16: The Nets have officially signed Kurucs, the team announced today in a press release. According to reports from Sportando and The New York Post, his deal is expected to be worth about $7MM over four years.

JUNE 22: The Nets and second-round pick Rodions Kurucs have reached an agreement on an NBA contract, according to international basketball journalist David Pick, who reports (via Twitter) that it will be a four-year deal.

Kurucs, who was selected using the 40th overall pick that initially belonged to the Lakers, had one year left on his contract with Barcelona. However, the Nets and Kurucs’ Spanish club were able to negotiate the terms of a buyout, says Pick.

[RELATED: Full 2018 NBA Draft Results]

While Kurucs’ buyout was believed to be worth upwards of $4MM at one point, his camp was reportedly able to get that figure lowered substantially, per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (as relayed by NetsDaily).

Because Kurucs wasn’t a first-round pick, he won’t be subject to the NBA’s rookie scale, but it sounds like he’ll still sign a four-year contract. The Nets will have the flexibility to offer that many years because they’ll start the 2018/19 league year as an under-the-cap team. It’s not yet clear how much Kurucs’ contract will be worth, or how many years will be guaranteed, but the two sides will be able to finalize the agreement in July.

Kurucs was one of two international prospects the Nets selected in the 2018 draft, along with No. 29 pick Dzanan Musa. General manager Sean Marks indicated last night that club also expects to bring over Musa immediately, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link). The Bosnia forward reportedly has a buyout worth about $1MM.

Nets Sign Dzanan Musa To Rookie Contract

Nets first-round pick Dzanan Musa has officially signed his first NBA contract, according to tweets from agent Misko Raznatovic and Musa himself. Musa was the last of 2018’s first-rounders who had yet to sign his rookie deal, so all 30 of those players are now under contract.

Musa, a 6’9″ Bosnian wing, declared as an early entrant for this year’s draft after spending the last three seasons with KK Cedevita in Croatia. Musa’s squad won the Croatian League championship in each of those three years, and the youngster was named the EuroCup Rising Star in 2018, an honor previously earned by the likes of Kristaps Porzingis, Jonas Valanciunas, and Donatas Motiejunas.

The Nets won’t be counting on Musa, one of the youngest players in this year’s draft class, to make an immediate impact, but his size and scoring ability make him an intriguing prospect.

Musa, the 29th overall pick, figures to earn about $1.63MM in his rookie season, while his four-year deal with Brooklyn will be worth approximately $9.16MM in total. It includes two guaranteed seasons, with team options in years three and four.

With Musa locked up, the Nets figure to shift their focus to making things official with second-rounder Rodions Kurucs. The club reportedly agreed to terms with him on a four-year deal shortly after the draft — Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reported today that Brooklyn also finalized a $750K buyout agreement with Barcelona, Kurucs’ old team.

Eastern Notes: Pacers, Magic, Nets, Pistons

While the Pacers should enter July with the flexibility to explore free agency, president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard doesn’t sound like someone ready to pursue the top players on the open market. While a foray into free agency is possible, Pritchard could also use Indiana’s cap room to accommodate the acquisition of an impact player in a trade, as J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star writes.

“Where we really get better is July 1,” Pritchard said of the Pacers. “I’m not saying we’re going to sign a guy. I think there could be uneven trades. A lot of things can happen with that. We preserved that (space).”

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • After putting together a roster full of athletic players with long wingspans in Milwaukee, Magic GM John Hammond appears to be doing the same thing in Orlando, says Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype.
  • Although the two international prospects drafted by the Nets on Thursday have plenty of long-term promise, neither Dzanan Musa nor Rodions Kurucs is expected to make an immediate impact in the NBA, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details.
  • Dwane Casey continues to fill out his new staff in Detroit, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of, who reports (via Twitter) that DJ Bakker is heading from the Raptors to the Pistons to become Casey’s player development coach.
  • Speaking of the Raptors, they offered Sarunas Jasikevicius an assistant coaching job on Nick Nurse‘s staff, but he has elected to remain in Lithuania, per Jonas Miklovas (Twitter link). The Zalgiris Kaunas coach interviewed for Toronto’s head coaching vacancy before the club promoted Nurse.

New York Notes: Near-Trades, Nets, Knox, Porzingis

The Nets selected Dzanan Musa with the No. 29 overall pick in Thursday’s draft and while GM Sean Marks said he was excited about the prospect, he admitted that the team was “very close” to trading up.

“You’re trying to figure out is the cost to trade up worth it,” Marks said in an interview with the FAN’s Mike Francesa (h/t Net Income and Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily). “And like most teams, you want to do it on the clock because you’re thinking: ‘Is my guy there? Is my target there? And what’s it going to cost to get there?”

”So at that point, we didn’t feel like it was worth it. We weren’t ready to give away the asking price. And at the same time, these two guys — [Rodions Kurucs] and Dzanan — we’d been targeting, so we’re definitely glad to have them in our family.”

Marks didn’t disclose which players or picks it would have taken to move up in the draft order, though he added that the organization likes its “solid vets on the team.”

Here’s more from the five boroughs:

  • Marks suggests the Nets will be active in free agency, as the pair of scribes relay in the same piece. “There are some things out there, whether it’s pending,” the GM said. “We’ll just have to wait and see in July, whether it’s how we use our cap space and how we move forward with that. We have flexibility in the future, which is important.”
  • The Knicks feel No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox and Kristaps Porzingis will make a good tandem at the forward positions, Marc Berman of the New York Post relays. Knox, who spoke to Porzingis via FaceTime after the draft, believes the duo can make an impact in the league. “He stretches the floor, shoots the ball, goes down low. I think me, him and some of the other guys will complement each other very well,” the rookie said.
  • The selection of Knox could give Porzingis another reason to sign a long-term deal once his deal expires next summer, Berman writes in the same piece. Porzingis is currently eligible for a contract extension, though the Knicks may prefer to wait to reach an agreement with the former No. 4 overall pick until next summer in order to preserve cap space.