Nets forward Trendon Watford, who is battling for a regular season roster spot, strengthened his case on Monday by scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 16 minutes vs. Philadelphia, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. As Lewis notes, Watford also hit a pair of three-pointers and even operated as a secondary play-maker.
“(Nets coach Jacque Vaughn) is always just encouraging me, telling me little things to get better at and little things he sees. In the time I’ve been here, he’s put the ball in my hands a lot. So he likes how I play-make and stuff,” Watford told Lewis. “So yeah, that’s really it; he just wants me to keep doing that and keep getting better defensively. And I think I’ve took a step forward in that.”
The Nets have 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, plus Watford, Darius Bazley, and Harry Giles on non-guaranteed deals, so those three players may be vying for two regular season roster spots. As Net Income of NetsDaily observes, with one two-way slot still open, there’s a path to keeping all three of those non-guaranteed players into the regular season — giving one of them a two-way contract.
However, while Watford and Giles are both eligible to sign a two-way deal, they can’t be converted directly since their contracts don’t include an Exhibit 10 clause. That means they’d have to pass through waivers and re-sign with Brooklyn in order to receive a two-way contract from the team.
Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Atlantic…
- The Raptors made former Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes “off limits” in trade talks for Kevin Durant last year and Damian Lillard this offseason, league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN. Reports that linked Toronto to Durant and Lillard when they were available strongly indicated the team wasn’t willing to include Barnes in its offers.
- A report earlier this month suggested that USA Basketball is aggressively pursuing Jrue Holiday for its 2024 Olympic roster. The Celtics guard said on Monday that he hasn’t heard directly from Team USA yet, but expressed interest in playing in Paris, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Why not?” Holiday said. “I want to see what we can do out there.”
- After starting 70 of the 82 games he played for the Celtics last season, Derrick White isn’t necessarily guaranteed a spot in the starting five following the acquisitions of Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. White said this week that he’s fine with starting or coming off the bench and will go with the flow, tweets Weiss.