The Long Island Nets roster is basically a blank slate. A few of last year’s players may return but the team will basically be formed by a number of decisions the team will make between now and Opening Night on November 3.
Who catches their eye during local player tryouts on September 15; who gets two-way deals with Brooklyn and Long Island; who doesn’t make the Nets final cut on October 15; who they might draft in the G-League Draft five days later —when they have six picks in the first round; and of course whether the Nets front office want to give Dzanan Musa or Rodions Kurucs minutes at Nassau Coliseum or keep them at Barclays.
So Long Island’s marketing arm has been focusing on Will Weaver, Long Island’s new head coach, Will Weaver, who’s been seen taking the LIRR to Mineola, the station nearest the Coliseum...
Follow Coach Will around on his latest visit to Long Island More stops coming soon pic.twitter.com/96OkMrdqiY— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) August 20, 2018
Touring the team’s practice facility at the Yes, We Can Center in Westbury...
Next stop on Head Coach Will Weaver's visit to Long Island was the Long Island Nets Practice Facility pic.twitter.com/q19uynTHWy— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) August 23, 2018
And visiting the Coliseum itself during Saturday’s Hoop Fest. He even got an (awkward?) introduction to Dale the Eagle, who made his debut as Long Island’s mascot.
Tune in to watch the third stop on Head Coach Will Weaver’s trip to Long Island pic.twitter.com/AsF61p7wEs— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) August 24, 2018
Of course, none of that goes to Weaver’s abilities as a coach, which are substantial. He worked in the 76ers system with Brett Brown and is still an assistant coach with the Australian national team, which includes Mitch Creek. Last season, his primary responsibility as an assistant to Kenny Atkinson was keeping track of two-way players. So replacing Ronald Nored wasn’t such a big leap.
A development specialist and an analytics advocate, the 34-year-old Weaver knows that those tools, more than any other, will hold him in good stead when his team takes the court in November.
“Certainly within the Brooklyn environment we look at it as an incredibly important part of what we’re doing moving forward and a chance to expand our universe of players two-fold on a yearly basis and sometimes more with the number of guys you have access to that you can bring in to your roster during the season,” he told Tom Dowd of the Nets official website last month.
In the interim, expect him and the Long Island front office —Trajan Langdon and Matt Riccardi — to see if they get the young Nets ready for a larger stage.