The Nets, without its four best players, lost out to the D-League All-Stars, 85-64, Friday night in Las Vegas, finishing 3-3 in their second summer league, after going winless in Orlando. Ryan Boatright was hurt and the Nets rested Markel Brown, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Willie Reed.
In their place, Cliff Alexander and Josh Gasser, both undrafted, were the top scorers. Alexander, who picked up his game in Vegas, finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and a block. Gasser, a 6'3" guard who played with Frank Kaminsky at Wisconsin, had 19 points, including two three pointers, nine rebounds and five assists.
The Nets now have 17 players under contract, but only 12 of them of them fully guaranteed. Two of the remaining five, Brown and Reed, are almost certain to have their deals guaranteed before the season. That leaves Boatright (with a $125,000 guarantee on November 1, bringing his total to $200,000); Quincy Miller ($100,000 guarantee the first regular season game); and Earl Clark ($200,000 guarantee on October 26) in limbo.
So, the next question is who gets invited to camp. The Nets had 17 players in camp last October, 19 two years ago. Teams have as many as 20 under contract. Another summer league player, Xavier Thames, last year's 59th pick, has said he's been invited to camp. It seems likely the Nets would want to bring the raw but athletic Alexander in for a further look-see.
Once the 6'9" Chicago teenager was paired with Reed in Las Vegas, his numbers and performance jumped. But his agent was smart to not accept a guarantee. He's a free agent and other teams been sniffing around in the past few days, said a league source.
Just before Friday's game, he tweeted out a cryptic email.
Feeling good about this opportunity— Cliff Alexander (@CAlexander) July 17, 2015
The Nets have not signed him and he did play for them last night, an indication no one else had as well. But he's likely to get an offer, or two, soon. One big the Nets were interested in signing won't be playing for them. Sasha Kaun, the Russian 7-footer, showed up at the LVSL Friday night with LeBron James. The Nets tried to pry his draft rights away from the Cavs, but they are keeping him.
For the record, here are the final numbers for the Nets team leaders in Vegas, as tweeted out by the Nets...
RHJ finished the VSL (5 gms) with averages of 11.2 pts, 6.6 rebs (2nd best on team) 1.4 steals & 1.2 blocks per game pic.twitter.com/5lVX6XPEIz— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 18, 2015
Next up: FIBA Europe, with Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia), Andrea Bargnani (Italy) and possibly Sergey Karasev (Russia) participating. Games start in early September, but national teams will start playing "friendly" games next month.
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