clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sergey Karasev feeling "comfortable" with Russia's Nets

Sergey Karasev is back in Moscow working out with Team Russia as it prepares for the FIBA Europe Qualifying Round next month.  European teams that didn't make the World Championships this summer are vying for places in the 2015 FIBA European championships.  In the complicated system, Russia plays Switzerland and Italy in home-and-away sets.

But local reporters who covered his first practices say the 20-year-old wanted to talk more about the NBA and the Nets ... and how he feels "comfortable" with Brooklyn and its various Russian connections.

Wearing a Nets t-shirt and warm-up shorts at the Novogorsk practice facility, Karasev said he thinks the move from the Cavaliers to the Nets is going to be a big help in his development.

"I want to prove to everyone that I just don't happen to be in the league," said Karasev, who spent most of last season in the D-League. I loved Cleveland, but the move to Brooklyn, I believe, is a positive step. Andrei Kirilenko plays there. There's Mikhail Prokhorov and a lot of Russians.  I'm sure I will be comfortable."

Indeed, the Nets think Karasev's development in Cleveland was thwarted. Even though he was the No. 19 pick last season, the Cavaliers, they believe, were more focused on their high lottery picks, like Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters, all taken in the top four. Indeed, Karasev's development is a priority for a variety of reasons, one of which is that he is Russian.

Asked by Sport-Express, a big Moscow sports site, if he regretted not being able to play with LeBron James, Karasev said, "To be honest, no."

He said he was happy to join Brooklyn because "I have long been in their sphere of interests," noting that the Nets told the Cavs they were willing to take on Jarrett Jack's contract but only if Karasev was included in the package.

"The Nets tried to get me last summer in the NBA Draft, but it had not happened. And with Cleveland looking for an opportunity to trade Jarrett Jack, the Nets set a clear condition: the deal happens only if I move to New York with Jack. The Cavaliers did not want to let me go, but still they gave the nod.  The team showed an effort to get me. That's always nice."

The 6'7" shooting guard said he would have loved to learn from Paul Pierce, but the Nets are not without "stellar teachers - Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, the same with Kirilenko. I will absorb their lessons like a sponge."

Karasev won't participate in this weekend's friendly tournament at the team's practice facility outside the Russian capital.  He did note that he has spent the last six weeks training in the US, first with the Cavs and then with the Nets, playing in the last Orlando Summer League game, where he scored 11 points.