In interviews on Media Day for Team France, the newest Net, Yakuba Ouattara said the Nets have been tracking him for two years and that he finally decided “it’s now or never” and signed a two-way deal with Brooklyn.
"I think I like my chances,” said the 25-year-old shooting guard. “Otherwise, I would not have signed this contract. Brooklyn has been following me for two seasons, a club that likes my style very much. They showed me real interest and that's why I got involved with them.”
His goals are simple, Ouattara said, and if that does not work, he will have no regrets.
"In the short term, I would like to be a regular player and be a full-fledged player on the team. And in the long run, I would like to assert myself as a true NBA player. Truly good NBA player.
Hyperathletic and a good shooter, Ouattara has advanced over the past two years while playing for Monaco in the French League. He said the Nets told him “they were surprised at my evolution, that I was going through a new stage every year.”
“If it does not work? I do not have to worry about that at all. I went precisely because I am 25 years old and I think that if I have to try my luck it is now or never. I know that if I did not have that choice, I would have regretted it throughout my career. For me the NBA was really a goal. So it was now or never "
A native of Ghana in West Africa, Ouattara will play for France in FIBA Europe later this month. Ghana does not have a national basketball team and Ouattara is a dual citizen of Ghana and France. He’s currently one of two Nets who will play in FIBA Eurobasket, the other Timofey Mozgov, who’s training with Team Russia.
Ouattara confirmed he chose the Nets but had worked out with and had offers from Dallas and Oklahoma City.
Under terms of the two-way deal, Ouattara will play primarily for the Long Island Nets but be the NBA property of Brooklyn. He’s likely to move back and forth between G-League and NBA. If he spends more than 45 days with Brooklyn, the team will have to decide whether to keep him on the NBA roster on a rookie minimum deal or waive him.
Ouattara is the only free agent signing of the summer so far. The Nets have another two-day deal available.