With Greivis Vasquez's return uncertain -- in last month's statements, neither he nor Sean Marks committed to his being ready for training camp, expect Randy Foye to get minutes as back-up point guard this season. Can he do it?
"Randy is a proven veteran in this league," Kenny Atkinson said at the Nets’ introductory press conference in July. "Me and [general manager] Sean [Marks] were thrilled when we had the chance to get him. He can play both positions – the 2 and the 1 – great character fit, great system fit for our team."
One of the last players signed this summer, Foye has been in camp learning Atkinson's system and working with the younger players -- the number of whom are in five, six days a week impresses the vet.
"One of the things I’m looking to bring is leadership," said Foye, who’s played for Minnesota, Washington, the Clippers, Utah, Denver and Oklahoma City. "Just try to grab guys after workouts and say, ‘hey let’s shoot some more,’ or do ball-handling drills, or play today. Or if we’re doing sprints or whatever we’re doing and we’re dead tired, let’s do one more or two more. More than anything, I’m trying to be a leader and lead by example."
When he joined the Thunder in mid-season last year after a trade from Denver Kevin Durant noted the same positives.
Durant said. "I think he's one of those guys that everybody wants, a great guy in the locker room that can be of a lot of value on the court."
No doubt, he's a leader, but if Vasquez isn't available, can he fill in at the 1 if Vasquez isn't fully rehabbed? It is a question. Over the past few years, he's mostly come off the bench as as shooting guard, someone who can energized a team. And truth be told, his production has dropped.
According to Nylon Calculus, he played 195 minutes or 34.2 percent of his playing time at OKC at the point and 375 minutes, 65.8 percent, at shooting guard. Overall, he averaged only 1.8 assists in the 27 games he played for the Thunder, slightly less than what he put up in Denver.
And as the season turned to the playoffs, the Thunder turned more to Cameron Payne and Dion Waiters. Foye had problems, in particular, with turnovers and his once reliable shooting stroke seemed to fail him too. He averaged 3.5 assists per playoff game, but almost 3.0 assists. After being one of the top three point shooters in the NBA for nearly a decade, he shot only 30 percent in 81 regular season games, and only slightly better -- 30.5 percent -- in post-season.
He could light it up every once in a while, though, like he did just before Christmas while still with the Nuggets...
The question is how many of those games does he have left t age 33?
The Nets will have to wait until the season begins to find that out. One thing that won't have to wait is his plan to lead, to give back. Stuck mostly out west in his career, he's now back home, having bought Bruce Springsteen's home in Rumson, NJ., and turning his foundation work to his hometown.
"I came up in a tough neighborhood in Newark and I just wanted to give back," Foye said. "I never saw an NBA person, or a football player or a baseball player come to a school that I grew up in so I said hey, let me do something special. That’s how everything started to evolve."