Sergey Karasev will join the Russian national team this weekend in preparation for the FIBA Europe Qualifying Tournament in August. Karasev, acquired by the Nets in the three-team deal that brought Jarrett Jack to Brooklyn, is expected to arrive at the training site outside Moscow on Friday. Team Russia is participating in a "friendly" tournament at the site starting Friday, going up against teams from Israel and the Czech Republic. It's unknown if Karasev will play.
Karasev has had a hectic 10 days. He was in Las Vegas training with the Cavaliers summer league team when the trade was announced. He then flew to Orlando where he played in the Nets final game in that league, scoring 11 points. He then flew from Orlando to New York where the Nets set him up with an apartment. Now, it's on to Novogorsk, the Moscow suburb where the Russian team practices.
Sergey Kushchenko, Mikhail Prokhorov's chief sports adviser and a member of the Nets board of directors, told SovSport Sunday that the Nets believe in Karasev and expect the change from Cleveland to Brooklyn will help him succeed.
"No doubt about it! We wanted to get him last year," said Kushchenko, talking about the 2013 draft. "But we were a little late - Cleveland got him, but last season was not a success. I think that the current philosophy of the [Nets] will allow Sergei to develop. But much depends on him, if not all. Now, you will have to see Sergei show diligence, to prove to himself, 'I can do it.'. He has everything needed for this -- the talent, a good head, a father who was himself one of the best to play in Europe.
"Sergei just needs time to step up to the next step. We would like to have Sergey play with us until the end of his career."
Meanwhile, Timofey Mozgov of the Nuggets, who was an Olympic teammate of Karasev and Andrei Kirilenko, told ITAR-TASS, the Russian news agency, that pairing the two is likely to be a big help for the 20-year-old.
"One of the important things - this is putting Sergey next to Andrei Kirilenko," said Mozgov. "We all know that Andrei is a kind and sympathetic man with vast experience in life and basketball. Certainly he can help Sergey. Another important thing - the coach, it is necessary for him to trust Sergei and give him a chance. Karasev, in turn, must prove himself. I think that he will succeed."
FIBA Qualifying Tournament runs from August 10 through 27. Russia, which has been hammered by injuries, will play home and away series with Switzerland and Italy. Mirza Teletovic will be playing for Team Bosnia in another group of the tournament. Bojan Bogdanovic, expected to sign with the Nets this week, and Jorge Gutierrez will participate in the FIBA World Cup starting September 30.
Karasev has played for the Russian national teams going back to 2009 when as a 15-year-old, he led the Russian U16 to a fifth place finish in the European championships, coached by his father.