Over the weekend, Tadas Bulotas, Mantas Kalnietis' Lithuanian agent, told media in his country that the Nets had offered the 6'5" point guard an invitation to join the Nets summer league team following a solid performance at the team's free agent game. According to Lithuanian press reports, he went so far as to indicate the invitation was proof his client had the goods to play in the NBA.
Bulotas: "The Summer League invite by Nets shows that chances of making NBA are realistic. The main questions would be regarding money."
— Simonas Baranauskas (@LithuaniaBasket) June 6, 2014
He also suggested that Kalnietis would probably turn down the invitation ... or use it as leverage with other teams who might want to work him out..
Bulotas claims they don't see much benefit in playing in Summer League, when NBA teams can see Kalnietis play in the World Cup in Spain.
— Simonas Baranauskas (@LithuaniaBasket) June 5, 2014
The Nets don't normally comment on free agent questions, including who's been invited to camp, but league sources tell NetsDaily that the Nets have not invited Kalnieis, one of Europe's top point guards, to play for their entry in the Orlando summer league, which starts July 6.
One possible explanation: Kalnietis is under contract with Lokomotiv Kuban in the Russian League and although the team's president said if he'd be willing to listen to buyout offers, he has no buyout clause in his contract. Another is that the Nets will have two back-up point guards in Orlando: Marquis Teague, who has a guaranteed deal, and Jorge Gutierrez, whose contract for next season is partially guaranteed.
In fact, on Tuesday, Bulotas admitted to Lithuania media, "a move to the NBA would be more realistic next year than this year," because of his continuing contract.
What about Edwin Jackson, the French point guard? The Nets in-house beat writer Lenn Robbins sure made it seem like the Nets were interested in Jackson, posting positive reports on his chances in video and text reports posted on the team's official site. We haven't heard anything official there, but a tweet Jackson posted on Saturday didn't seem encouraging.
I will make it to the nba one day i work hard every day for that its my dream and no matter what people say or think i will make it happen
— edwin jackson (@edjacks) June 7, 2014
So far, Adonis Thomas, who the Nets nurtured in Springfield is confirmed the summer league. Two other players, Nick Minnerath of Detroit Mercy, a 6'9" small forward who played in France and Spain last season, and Michael Jenkins, a 6'4" shooting guard who played at Winthrop, then began six year journey through European leagues, have both tweeted their gratitude at being asked. Both hit better than 40 percent from three in European action last season.