Shaun Fein

New York Notes: Thabeet, Ntilikina, Nets, Fein

Free agent center Hasheem Thabeet will once again participate in workouts with the Knicks this week, agent Jerry Dianis tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Thabeet has spent a lot of time around the team lately, having worked out for New York in August and then again during the first week of September.

It remains unclear whether the Knicks are seriously interested in bringing Thabeet to training camp this fall. Currently, New York has a full 20-man roster, though if the team wants to sign the former No. 2 overall pick, it would be easy enough to create a roster spot by releasing a player with a non-guaranteed contract.

The Knicks’ projected 15-man regular season roster doesn’t feature any true centers besides Mitchell Robinson, so if Thabeet looks good, bringing him aboard for depth purposes could be appealing. However, the club has plenty of veteran power forwards who figure to see time at the five, including Taj Gibson, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis.

Here’s more on both of New York’s teams:

  • Steve Popper of Newsday is skeptical that Frank Ntilikina will get the opportunity to play an increased role this season for the Knicks, even after the Frenchman’s impressive World Cup performance. As Popper notes, the team was willing to play stopgaps like Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke over Ntilikina last season, and now may be more invested in getting Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton regular minutes.
  • The Nets‘ new G League head coach, Shaun Fein, has a history with Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson, as he tells Tom Dowd of BrooklynNets.com. Fein and Atkinson spent time together playing for French team Nantes during the 2001/02 season, with Atkinson provided crucial veteran guidance. “He kind of took me under his wing,” Fein said. “He was at the latter stages of his career and I was just beginning mine. I think as a first-year player, as an American, you’re in a foreign country, you don’t really know anything. … He kind of got me out of my comfort zone. ‘Hey, we’re going to go out, we’re going to go have dinner,’ and things like that. Kind of showed me how to live life as a basketball player in Europe. I was really appreciative of that.”
  • In case you missed it, we reviewed the Knicks‘ offseason on Friday and relayed word earlier today of the Nets hiring a new CEO.

Nets Notes: Offseason, FAs, Kurucs, Riccardi

The Nets were among the summer’s big winners two months ago, having secured free agent commitments from stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving while adding complementary roster pieces like DeAndre Jordan and Garrett Temple.

However, as Frank Isola of The Athletic details, that “once-in-a-lifetime” offseason has hit a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks. Wilson Chandler was hit with a 25-game PED suspension and Rodions Kurucs was arrested for an alleged domestic incident.

Throw in the fact that Durant is expected to miss most of the season and the knowledge that Irving contributed to disharmony in the Celtics’ locker room last year and there are plenty of uncertainties and question marks in Brooklyn heading into ’19/20.

As the Nets look to minimize the drama in Brooklyn, here are a few more notes related to the franchise:

  • Isola suggests the Nets will “likely” make a roster move at some point with Durant out and Chandler suspended for the season’s first 25 games. As NetsDaily observes, there has been plenty of chatter lately linking Brooklyn to veteran free agents Carmelo Anthony and Joe Johnson.
  • Kurucs’ attorney Alex Spiro tells legal expert Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated that the allegations against his client are “bogus” and claims they’re the result of a bad breakup. Still, as McCann outlines, Kurucs may face a suspension from the NBA depending on how the case plays out. Because he’s facing misdemeanor – rather than felony – charges, the Latvian forward shouldn’t have any issues related to his immigration status or work visa.
  • The Long Island Nets – Brooklyn’s G League affiliate – announced on Thursday that they’ve named Matt Riccardi as their general manager and Shaun Fein as their head coach. Riccardi drew interest from Memphis earlier this offseason, but opted to stick with the Nets.

Nets Notes: Holden, Chandler, Harris

The Nets are expected to hire Sixers international scout J.R. Holden to serve as the team’s new director of player personnel, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Holden, who played overseas from 1998-2011, winning a pair of EuroLeague championships during that time, has also scouted for the Pistons since retiring as a player.

Holden will inject some more new talent into a front office that lost multiple key executives this offseason. Gianluca Pascucci joined the Timberwolves, while Trajan Langdon headed to New Orleans. The Nets have also hired Andy Birdsong and Jeff Peterson as assistant GMs to help replenish the group around Sean Marks.

Michael Scotto of The Athletic has updates on a couple more changes by the Nets, reporting (via Twitter) that the club will name Ryan Forehan-Kelly as its player development coordinator, with Shaun Fein set to assume head coaching duties for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Tom Noie of The South Bend Tribune profiled new Nets forward Wilson Chandler, who recognizes that he’s not being brought in to have the same sort of impact as fellow free agent signees like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. “I’m one of the soldiers who goes out there for the generals and the captains. I’m on the support team and rightfully so,” Chandler said. “Whenever they need my help, they know they have a warrior besides themselves.”
  • As Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily relays, Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris recently appeared on Barstool’s Pardon My Take podcast to discuss how he ended up in Brooklyn, the Nets’ outlook, and the club’s free agency success. While Harris is looking forward to playing with his new star teammates, he declined to take any credit for their decisions to sign with the team. “I didn’t take any part in the recruitment,” Harris said. “I let the other guys kind of the bulk of that stuff.”
  • Sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is looking to sell off NYCB Live, the home of the Nassau Coliseum. Prokhorov is expected to cede control of the Nets to minority shareholder Joseph Tsai within the next year or two and may also look to sell ownership of Barclays Center at some point.