Early Sunday morning, the Brooklyn Nets elected to send 2018 first round pick Dzanan Musa to their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets.
Then Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets elected to bring him back in time for Sunday evening’s game with Golden State.
#Nets have recalled Dzanan Musa from the Long Island Nets, ahead of tonight's game vs. Golden State.— Bryan Fonseca (@BryanFonsecaNY) October 28, 2018
Looks like he's this year's Chris McCullough, Isaiah Whitehead ........
What gives? Indeed, there is a league rule that even if the Nets just want to give one of their players a couple of hours practice time with Long Island, they have to send him down, bring him up. Each time is a team transaction requiring a press release. The Nets aren’t saying, but Musa likely spent his few hours in the G League Sunday practicing at the Long Island training site in New Cassel in North Hempstead.
In 2016-17, the Nets sent Chris McCullough to Long Island —and back— a total of 21 times for practices and games. They did the same for a while with Isaiah Whitehead last year before letting him settle in. There are no limits to the number of times an NBA roster player can be moved back and forth.
What it likely means is that Musa will be spending a lot of the season in Long Island, at least initially.
Musa tweeted out his reaction...
Slow motion, better than no motion— Dzanan Musa (@DzMusa) October 28, 2018
Since injuring his right ankle in a World Cup Qualifier last month, the Nets have been very careful with Musa.
Musa has been limited to only two regular season games, after playing two preseason games, and did not practice with the team until October 1.
“He definitely showed some pick-and-Roll ability today,” Atkinson said of Musa, who he later compared to Mike Dunleavy, following his first Nets practice earlier this month. “I’m not ready to put him at the starting point guard, but I think he could eventually be a secondary or third ball-handler.
“He’s pretty skilled, more skilled with the ball than I thought. I see him as a 2 or 3. The 2 is probably his position. That’s a nice size. I think I referenced Mike Dunleavy. He’s 6’9”. He’s tall. He’s got to get stronger obviously, but is eventually 2, 3, 4, which is where this league is kind of going with the multiple positions. The versatility.”
But Musa has gotten caught in a numbers game.
With D’Angelo Russell, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen Crabbe, Shabazz Napier plus the injured DeMarre Carroll and Treveon Graham all playing the same positions as Musa, it’s become increasingly difficult for Musa to see playing time. That made the decision to send him to Long Island a relatively easy one.
In Long Island, he’s likely to be the first or second option on a team without much of a half court game.
Born on May 8, 1999, Musa is also the seventh youngest player in the NBA.
Musa and Long Island begin their season on Saturday, November 3 against the Westchester Knicks at the Nassau Coliseum. Expect him to be down and back again before that.