Edmond Sumner

Nets Notes: Warren, Sumner, Vaughn, Brown

Nets forward T.J. Warren played in an NBA game on Friday for the first time in nearly two years, making his Brooklyn debut after having been sidelined since December 2020 due to a series of foot issues. Warren couldn’t have asked for a much better return — he scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench as the Nets extended their winning streak to four games with a victory over Toronto.

“Man it was super, super, super … just a lot of nerves, excitement, a lot of emotions into it. Just definitely super excited just to be out there with a win,” Warren said, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “Teammates did a great job making the game easy, not so complicated for me. I’ve been out for a while, so it just kept me confident, kept me locked-in, excited on both ends of the floor. So definitely something to build on.

“I was telling somebody in the back it almost felt like a dream. Just like as soon as I checked in it kind of hit me, like, ‘This is real.’ Like I said, once I got up and down it was just like ‘All right, this is basketball.’ So it was just super fun to be out there competing with the guys.”

Warren figures to provide some scoring punch to a team that has leaned heavily on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for its offense so far this season. Besides Durant and Irving, only Nic Claxton (11.9 PPG) and now Warren have averaged double-digit points per game for Brooklyn in 2022/23.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Reserve guard Edmond Sumner left Friday’s win due to a right glute contusion, according to Lewis. “We’ll look at it (on Saturday),” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Hopefully it’s nothing serious and we can look on.”
  • In a subscriber-only story for The New York Post, Lewis checks in on Vaughn’s performance in his first month as Steve Nash‘s replacement and finds that the new Brooklyn head coach is earning strong reviews from his own players and opponents alike. Nets forward Joe Harris lauded Vaughn for holding everyone accountable, while Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said the team seems to have “more buy-in” under Vaughn. “They’ve done a terrific job; top 10 since Nov. 1 on both sides of the ball,” Unseld said. “Got to give Jacque and his staff a lot of credit. It shifted. They’re a different team.”
  • Bruce Brown, now a Nugget, was upset that he didn’t receive any attention from the Nets in free agency despite his old team initially telling him it wanted to re-sign him, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). “I was (hurt), but once I’d seen the Royce O’Neale trade, I was like, ‘I’m off their books, for sure,'” Brown said. “Because at first, they were talking about, they didn’t want to go into the tax or whatever, but then they said that I was a priority. … They wanted me back. They came down to see me in Miami when I was working out. And when I didn’t receive a phone call, I was like, ‘All right.'”

Kevin Durant Talks Offseason Trade Request, Nets, Legacy, More

The Nets have had an up-and-down first month of the 2022/23 season and are in the midst of another downturn right now, having given up 153 points to the Kings in a blowout loss on Tuesday.

Still, Kevin Durant tells Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that he likes the energy new head coach Jacque Vaughn has brought to the team. According to Durant, the Nets have been “preparing ourselves well” for games, “playing as hard as we can,” and are starting to build real chemistry.

In Durant’s view, the way the Nets are readying themselves for games under Vaughn is how the team should have been approaching its preparation last season. That was the primary reason the star forward requested a trade in the summer, he told Haynes.

“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball,” Durant said. “I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more s–t. Hold me accountable. Get on my ass in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice.’

“This was the type of s–t I was coming at them with. It wasn’t like, ‘Yo, y’all need to make sure everybody around me can make my life easier.’ Hell nah, I want to make everybody else’s life easier. Ask Steve Nash, you can go call him right now. I would say, ‘Yo, I need more closeout drills. We need to practice more.’ That’s what I was on.

“I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me. Jacque Vaughn is. I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these (expletive) are full of s–t. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s–t, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade.”

Durant opened up to both Haynes and Marc J. Spears of Andscape on Tuesday about a number of topics beyond his offseason trade request. Both interviews are worth checking out in full, but here are some of the highlights from the former MVP:

On the Nets’ lineup with Kyrie Irving unavailable and Ben Simmons struggling to regain his old form:

“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, (Nic) Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group? You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”

On the perception that he’s not a true leader:

“I’m not a leader? What the f–k does that mean? A lot of people say I’m not a leader because I didn’t tell Kyrie to get vaccinated. Come on. Or I didn’t condemn Kyrie for leaving the team, going out and living his life. I’m not about to tell a grown-ass man what he can and can’t do with his own life and dissect his views or how he thinks about s–t.

“… I don’t need to show or tell everybody what I’m doing with my teammates so y’all can pump me up and say, ‘Yeah, KD, you’re the boss, you’re the leader.’ These other (expletives) need that. I don’t. I don’t come to you and say, ‘Haynes, write this story about me.’ I don’t do that to nobody. But I come here and respect y’all. I talk to y’all like a real one, even after a blowout (loss).”

On whether he’s happy in Brooklyn:

I’m incredible. Loving life right now. I don’t think the world understands that. Maybe I need to get miked up more. Maybe I need to have more fluff pieces written about me. Smile more in pictures.

“What’s not to love about this life? I’m a great player. I get up to go hoop every day, work on my game. I make a s–t ton of money. I buy a lot of cool s–t. I don’t understand why there’s even a question on whether I’m happy or not. I just look at the big picture of things. Obviously, basketball, I want to do well, win every game and I want s–t to be perfect. But that doesn’t mean my whole life is f—ed up.”

On his legacy as a player:

“All that extra s–t like, ‘You got to win before you retire and make sure your legacy is straight,’ that’s bulls–t to me. My legacy is predicated on what Cam Thomas is learning from me and what he’ll take away to help him by the time he’s in his 10th year. That’s my legacy. What I did with Andre Roberson, the confidence I helped him build when he was in the league. That’s my legacy. Being able to play with Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Kyrie and still be me. Yeah, that’s my legacy. That’s who I am. That’s what I bring to the game.

“I can play with anybody, anywhere, at any time, and you know I’m going bring it every day. That should be my legacy.”

Nets Notes: Vaughn, Marks, Durant, Irving, Sumner, Curry

Under newly minted head coach Jacque Vaughn, the Nets have surged to a solid 3-2 record. Brooklyn seems to be thriving, at least in the short term, under the new leadership, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Vaughn had been a seven-year assistant with the Nets under various head coaches before he was promoted, first to interim head coach, and then to head coach in the wake of Steve Nash‘s dismissal earlier this year.

“I was excited for him,” Brooklyn All-Star Kevin Durant said. “I know the work that he puts in every day. I know how much he cares about the development of each player, and this team as a whole. Look forward to playing for him. All the guys have responded to how he wants us to play, so I’m looking forward to how we progress after this.”

The hiring of Vaughn marks a historic moment for the league at large, per Marc J. Spears of Andscape, as he is the 16th current Black head coach in the NBA, an all-time high. Spears notes that the NBA is comprised of 71.8% Black players, per Statistica.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports opines that the hiring of the player-friendly Vaughn represents an important move for Brooklyn’s future.

“You could see the way the guys gravitated towards Jacque and his coaching and teaching and charismatic attitude,” a Nets employee told Fischer, referring to his previous stint as an interim coach in 2020.

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, the Nets intend to see if Vaughn will be able to continue winning with the team’s current personnel before ultimately making a determination on how to move forward, be that trying to contend or attempting to retool the roster.
  • Nets team president Sean Marks indicated that he spoke with Durant prior to making the official decision to hire Vaughn for the long haul, but wasn’t necessarily soliciting his input, tweets Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “I update the players and the players knew ahead of time, but again, Kevin’s job here is to go and play basketball, and that’s what he wants to do,” Marks said. “So that decision was not up to Kevin.”
  • With point guard Kyrie Irving suspended indefinitely, the Nets have been significantly improved in every way, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. The team has gone 3-1 since Irving was banished. Vaccaro adds that lately Brooklyn has been actively looking to share the ball and appears to have stepped up defensively.
  • Part of the reason Brooklyn has improved as of late has been depth. Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post notes that guards Edmond Sumner, starting for Irving, and Seth Curry have been key contributors recently. “He’ll continue to do that, set the tone,” Vaughn said of Sumner, who missed the entirety of the 2021/22 season following an Achilles tendon tear. “He just makes a difference. He’s engaged, he gets the rest of the group engaged.” Curry, meanwhile, is one of the league’s most lethal long-range specialists. “I still got a long ways to go physically, I’m still working my way back,” Curry noted. He has been recovering from a left ankle scope in May. “Just trying to keep a good mindset of work every day and come to the game bringing energy no matter what. I’m going to make shots, like I said, eventually.”

Several Players Set To Receive Salary Guarantees

Most players who are still on non-guaranteed contracts as the NBA’s regular season begins won’t have their salaries for 2022/23 fully guaranteed until January. The league-wide salary guarantee date is January 10, and teams must waive players on non-guaranteed contracts on or before January 7 in order to avoid being on the hook for the full-season salaries.

However, a number of players on non-guaranteed deals have language in their contracts that calls for them to receive full or partial guarantees if they’re not waived before their team’s first game of the regular season. Those players are as follows:


Full guarantees:

  • Dalano Banton (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($300,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,563,518).
  • Keita Bates-Diop (Spurs): Non-guaranteed salary ($1,878,720) becomes fully guaranteed.
  • Justin Champagnie (Raptors): Partial guarantee ($325,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,637,966).
  • Tre Jones (Spurs): Partial guarantee ($500,000) increases to full guarantee ($1,782,621).

As our full list of early salary guarantee dates shows, Isaiah Joe (Sixers), Josh Jackson (Raptors), and D.J. Wilson (Raptors) also would’ve had their salaries become fully guaranteed if they had remained under contract through their teams’ first regular season games. However, they were all waived within the last week. Joe has since signed with the Thunder on a deal that includes a guaranteed first-year salary.

Partial guarantees:

  • Matthew Dellavedova (Kings): Non-guaranteed salary ($2,628,597) becomes partially guaranteed ($250,000).
  • Haywood Highsmith (Heat): Partial guarantee ($50,000) increases to $400,000.
  • Luke Kornet (Celtics): Partial guarantee ($300,000) increases to $1,066,639.
  • Chima Moneke (Kings): Partial guarantee ($250,000) increases to $500,000.
  • Markieff Morris (Nets): Non-guaranteed salary ($2,905,581) becomes partially guaranteed ($500,000).
  • KZ Okpala (Kings): Partial guarantee ($250,000) increases to $500,000.
  • Edmond Sumner (Nets): Partial guarantee ($250,000) increases to $500,000.

Guarantee dates are a matter of negotiation between a team and a player, so there’s nothing stopping a club from approaching a player and asking him to agree to push that date back. If a player feels as if he’ll be waived if he says no, he may agree.

This happened last season, for instance, when Isaac Bonga‘s and Sam Dekker‘s contracts with the Raptors called for their salaries to be fully guaranteed as of opening night. Both players assented to moving their guarantee dates back to November 6. When that new deadline arrived, Toronto opted to retain Bonga and guarantee his full salary while waiving Dekker.

In other words, it’s not yet a sure thing that all the players mentioned above will get the guarantees described here, even if they remain under contract through Wednesday (or Tuesday, in Kornet’s case). We may get word in a day or two that a couple of them agreed to postpone their salary guarantee dates.

For the most part though, we should count on this group of players receiving some added security, with a handful of names coming off our list of players who still have non-guaranteed salaries.

Eastern Notes: Sumner, Nets, Morris, Westbrook, Heat, Celtics

Four-year NBA veteran Edmond Sumner is planning to bring grit to the Nets this season, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Sumner signed with Brooklyn in free agency this offseason.

At 6’6″, the 26-year-old established himself as a valuable rotation player before tearing his Achilles’ last year. He averaged 7.5 points per game with the Pacers in 2020/21, shooting 40% from deep in 53 contests.

“He just doesn’t miss days, he doesn’t skip workouts,” Sumner’s trainer, Mike Robertson, said. “That’s a testament to who he is and the kind of guy that you’re getting there. He’s just a great human being. He’s going to punch the clock, he’s going to continue to not just work hard for himself but to lift the others up around him. And he’s just a world-class human being. [Nets fans] are going to love him.” 

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets owner Joe Tsai made a personal recruiting pitch to Markieff Morris before Brooklyn signed him, Marc Stein writes for Substack. Morris is expected to provide the Nets with frontcourt depth and could play small-ball five at times. He dealt with a neck injury after an altercation with Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic last season, playing only 17 games with Miami.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether the Heat could have interest in Russell Westbrook in the event that he’s eventually bought out by the Lakers or another team. While Westbrook’s future with Los Angeles is unclear, he may not be a stellar fit alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The 33-year-old is currently on track to reach free agency next summer.
  • Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com explores a number of Celtics-related topics in his latest mailbag, including Jaylen Brown‘s ball-handling. Brown struggled to take care of the ball at times last season, averaging 3.5 assists and 3.1 turnovers per game during the postseason. He still held respectable playoff averages of 23.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, shooting 47% from the floor.

New York Notes: Nets, Sumner, Lustgarten, Barkley, Wesley

A fast start to the regular season would release a lot of the tension and uneasiness surrounding the Nets as they head into training camp, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

Media day will be much anticipated, as Kevin Durant will be asked why he wanted Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks fired, and the latter duo will have to discuss how they plan to coexist with the player who tried to oust them. They did already meet in Los Angeles to discuss the situation.

However, if things don’t go well during a rugged early schedule, issues created by Durant’s previous trade request and others regarding Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons could resurface, as Lewis observes.

We have more on the New York teams:

  • The Nets’ Edmond Sumner is excited about his progress from a ruptured Achilles that sidelined him last season when he was with the Pacers. He has apparently gone full speed in five-on-five scrimmages. He feels he can provide versatility to the club, as he told Chris Carrino on a podcast (hat tip to NetsDaily). “I feel I can do a lot of stuff, play off the ball, if you want me to play multiple positions. guard multiple positions,” he said. “I feel I can be a jack of all trades.” Sumner signed a two-year contract that is partially guaranteed in the first year and non-guaranteed in the second year.
  • Andrew Lustgarten is stepping down as CEO and president of MSG Sports, the parent of the Knicks and Rangers, according to Sportico.com. Lustgarten will stay on as MSG Sports CEO through the end of the year, when he will transition to the board. David Hopkinson, an executive vice president at MSG Sports, has been promoted to president and COO.
  • TNT analyst Charles Barkley said in Sirius XM interview (hat tip to Ian Begley of SNY.TV) that he spoke with Knicks executive William Wesley about why they didn’t complete a deal for Donovan Mitchell. Wesley told Barkley that the Jazz asked for too much.“They wanted my wife, my kids…. We wanted the deal, obviously,” Wesley told Barkley. “But he said they wanted my wife, they wanted my kids, they wanted my grandkids. They were just trying to rip somebody off.”

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Celtics, Sumner

The Knicks are hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2021/22 NBA season, with a $104MM new lead guard on the roster in Jalen Brunson. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News assesses the club’s roster, projecting starters and the likely first names off the bench.

Bondy also notes that, in terms of potential future deals, 2019 lottery pick Cam Reddish, acquired in a midseason trade with the Hawks, seems to want to move on. “It’s clear Cam has no place there,” a source close to the 6’8″ small forward told the Daily News. Bondy writes that the big question mark in the team’s starting lineup is at the shooting guard position, where the battle for suiting up as Brunson’s new backcourt mate looks to be between Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Following a return to the playoffs in 2021/22, the Raptors will be looking to build off their 48-34 season. Eric Koreen of The Athletic identifies paths to improvement for Toronto, including All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam‘s pull-up three-pointers, second-year forward Scottie Barnes‘s defense on the wing, and swingman OG Anunoby‘s scoring in isolation.
  • The Celtics returned to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years last season. Jared Weiss of The Athletic examines ways in which head coach Ime Udoka could look to preserve the health of injury-prone starting center Robert Williams and 36-year-old starting power forward Al Horford, including giving more minutes to reserve Luke Kornet.
  • New Nets wing Edmond Sumner has cleared an injury recovery hurdle, he announced in a tweet. The nature of the step Sumner took was not clarified. “Hit a big milestone today!” Sumner wrote in part. “Been patiently waiting to get up and down. Been grinding and trusting this process not rushing it.” Sumner signed with Brooklyn on a veteran’s minimum deal this offseason, after missing all of 2021/22 with a torn left Achilles tendon.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Sumner, Sims, Mazzulla

There will be quite the competition for the Raptors‘ final roster spots, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Although rookie Christian Koloko still hasn’t been signed, he seems like a safe bet to be the 13th player on a standard deal, per Lewenberg.

He does what he does very well and we probably don’t need him to do much more than that,” head coach Nick Nurse told TSN. “I love the way he runs, his feet are great, he’s blocking shots, screening OK and he’s got a pretty decent, safe pair of hands. And it’s probably a good roster fit.”

The 7’1″ center was the 33rd pick of last month’s draft. Second-year guard/forward Dalano Banton also has a good chance to be on the opening night roster, Lewenberg writes.

That leaves Justin Champagnie, D.J. Wilson, Armoni Brooks, David Johnson and Ron Harper Jr. battling it out for the final few roster spots. Toronto is expected to sign Harper to a two-way deal but he could earn a promotion if he impresses in training camp, according to Lewenberg, who notes that there’s also a chance the Raptors could waive Svi Mykhailiuk, who exercised his minimum-salary player option last month, in order to keep more than one of that group on a standard deal.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that guard Edmond Sumner signed a two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Nets, and the second year is non-guaranteed. Ian Begley of SNY.tv provides more details about Sumner’s contract (via Twitter), reporting that the first years isn’tfully guaranteed either. Sumner’s 2022/23 guarantee will increase from $250K to $500K if he’s on the opening night roster, and the second season becomes fully guaranteed once the free agency moratorium lifts in 2023. That typically occurs on July 6.
  • As Fred Katz of The Athletic recently relayed, Jericho Sims‘ new contract with the Knicks is fully guaranteed at $2K above the minimum in ’22/23, the second year is at the minimum and partially guaranteed for $600K, and the final year is a team option for the minimum with a $651,180 partial guarantee. Begley reports (Twitter link) that the $600K in year two increases to $1.2MM if Sims is still on the roster by mid-July 2023, and the deal becomes fully guaranteed in mid-August ’23. The same structure applies to the third year, with the $651,180 increasing to $1.3MM in mid-July ’24 and a full guarantee in mid-August ’24.
  • Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said he will be promoting Joe Mazzulla to a role on the bench in place of Will Hardy, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Mazzulla recently interviewed for Utah’s head coaching vacancy, which ultimately went to Hardy. He also interviewed for Boston’s job last summer.

Nets Notes: Irving, Simmons, Durant, Sumner, Claxton, Gray

Nets wing Cam Thomas isn’t letting the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving affect his outlook for the 2022/23 season and said this weekend that he won’t think any less of his star teammate if Kyrie pushes to be traded elsewhere, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Irving has been spotted at multiple Las Vegas Summer League games, but didn’t attend the Nets’ contests on Friday or Sunday.

“Kyrie’s my guy. Whatever’s his choices, that’s a choice,” Thomas said. “So I still keep in contact with him. That’s my guy. So whatever he does, that’ll still be my guy, my brother. So, it is what it is; it’s part of the business.”

While Thomas said he wasn’t bothered by Irving not showing up to the Nets’ Summer League games, he did praise three-time All-Star Ben Simmons for coming out to watch some of his young teammates on Sunday vs. Philadelphia.

“Yeah that’s big to have somebody of that stature come out and support us as the young guys. That makes us feel good. It makes us happy to play,” Thomas said. “So kudos to Ben for coming out here and watching us play.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Nets general manager Sean Marks and Heat GM Andy Elisburg were seen talking in Las Vegas on Monday, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter links), who says the two GMs are “going beyond cursory conversation” by dining together. Miami is, of course, considered one of Kevin Durant‘s preferred landing spots, so any discussions between the two front offices are worth keeping an eye on.
  • The new contract Edmond Sumner signed with the Nets is a two-year, minimum-salary contract, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who tweets that the second year is non-guaranteed.
  • Nic Claxton‘s new two-year contract with Brooklyn, initially reported to be worth $20MM, actually has a base value of $17.25MM, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. The deal includes $2,587,500 in total unlikely incentives, so if Claxton earns all those bonuses, he could end up making nearly $20MM across the two seasons.
  • A second-round pick in 2021, forward RaiQuan Gray signed a G League contract and spent his rookie season with the Long Island Nets in the G League, so Brooklyn still controls his NBA rights. As Lewis writes for The New York Post, Gray has worked hard to get into better shape and show the Nets that he deserves a shot at an NBA roster spot this fall.

Nets Sign Edmond Sumner

JULY 8: The Nets have officially signed Sumner, the team announced today in a press release.


JULY 5: After reaching a contract agreement with T.J. Warren earlier in the day, Brooklyn is set to sign another former Pacer who missed the entire 2021/22 season due to an injury.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), the Nets and free agent guard Edmond Sumner have agreed to a deal. Sumner tore his left Achilles tendon last September and was sidelined all of last season as he recovered.

Prior to the injury, Sumner enjoyed a career year in Indiana in 2020/21, playing a career-high 16.2 minutes per game and earning 24 starts in 53 contests. The 6″4″ guard averaged 7.5 PPG and 1.8 RPG with an impressive shooting line of .525/.398/.819, and projected to be part of the Pacers’ rotation for ’21/22.

The Nets actually acquired Sumner in a trade with the Pacers during the 2021 preseason, following his Achilles tear, but that was a salary-dump deal that sent a future second-round pick to Brooklyn. Sumner was waived a few days later.

While the terms of the agreement between Sumner and the Nets have yet to be reported, it’s almost certain to be a minimum-salary contract.

Brooklyn’s roster remains in flux due to the unresolved Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving situations, so Sumner’s exact role remains to be determined, but he’ll likely be a depth piece in the backcourt.