It’s not abnormal for a team, including the Nets, to still have questions about their last roster spot. Back in 2013, the morning of Media Day, the Nets announced that Marko Jaric, then a 13-year veteran, would fill the 20th and final spot in training camp. (He didn’t last and retired from the game.)
And that may be what will happen this Monday on Media Day. The Nets seem to have 19 players all signed up, the 15 guaranteed spots plus two-way contracts in Theo Pinson and Alan Williams and camp invites Jordan McLaughlin and Mitch Creek.
That leaves one spot open and as recently as two days ago, it appeared (no confirmation) that the Nets were still looking at players.
Brian Lewis reported on Tuesday than Nuni Omot, a 6’9” stretch-4 from Baylor, was in house and “a strong candidate” for the last spot... but that it was not guaranteed. Others were also working out at HSS Training Center. Then on Wednesday, Sportando, the European hoops site, tweeted that Drew Gordon, the 6’9” older brother of the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, had signed an Exhibit 10 deal, tantamount to a camp invite.
And at the same time, there was speculation that Creek, the 6’5” swingman from Australia, was “considering his options” after Sean Marks had announced Pinson was getting a 10-way, presumably foreclosing on the possibility of Creek getting that spot. (Creek denied one rumor, tweeting there is “0 percent” chance he will return to his old team, the Adelaide 36ers, the club that demanded Brooklyn buy out his Australian deal.)
A two-way deal, of course, gives players not just the possibility of playing time in Brooklyn as well as Long Island ... a step-up in forging an NBA career. It also is more lucrative, with two-way players potentially earning between $77,250 and $385,000, depending on how many days (not games) they spend with an NBA club. A camp invite who gets cut has the option of joining the G-League affiliate and getting a $50,000 bonus —as well as a G-League salary— if he stays 60 days. Australian sources reported Thursday that Creek could earn $300,000 or more if he left the Nets for Europe. As of now, there’s no indication of that.
As for Omut and Gordon, both are both 6’9” NBA small forwards, but Omut is a first class shooter, hitting more than 48 percent of his three point attempts in Big 12 conference play. Gordon on the other hand hit only 25 percent last year with Zenit in St. Petersburg, but he has some NBA experience, playing nine games with the Sam Hinkie 76ers in 2014-15. Gordon is also a better rounder. Omut is 24, Gordon 28.
And of course, there may be other players in camp.
Sean Marks in his press conference comments on Tuesday said nothing is set in stone. “It’s open competition in training camp, which I think is great for everybody,” he added.