In a television interview Tuesday in his home country of Latvia, Rodions Kurucs says he’ll play in the G-League with the Long Island Nets. The move is not surprising.
”To develop my game, I will try to prove myself to the G-League,” he told LTV Sport Studio. “And then, if I’m called to the NBA, I’ll try to take advantage of my chance and my minutes to show that I can compete with NBA players and fight for my place in the team.“
Kurucs’ agent said Friday that it’s inaccurate to say he’ll “start” the season in Long Island, suggesting something was lost in translation, (Of course, the G-League season doesn’t begin until two weeks into the NBA season, meaning he’ll be with Brooklyn early on.)
“He indicated that he looks forward to playing in the G league to regain confidence and feel for the game, if needed,” said Arturs . Kalnitis. “Main focus is to help the main team as soon as possible.”
Kurucs, a versatile 6’10” wing, was taken with the 40th pick in the Draft. He has played little over the last couple of years, being relegated to Spain’s “B” league by F.C. Barcelona after it became obvious his interest lay with the NBA, not the Euroleague.
“I want to get my conviction back, as it was before. I could not do this in Barcelona,” said Kurucs, in the interview. As Mike Schmitz and his ESPN colleague Jonathan Givony wrote four days before this year’s Draft, Kurucs wound up playing only 903 minutes over the last two seasons at Barca, all but 44 minutes with the organization’s “B” league team.
Although he’s done well for Latvia’s junior national teams, he hasn’t played for the senior men’s team either.
The Nets have long term plans for the 20-year-old. They signed him to four-year, $7 million deal not long after the Draft. Three years of that deal are guaranteed, an extraordinary contract for a second rounder.
“I feel very good and I am very happy with this team,” Kurucs told LTV. “My teammates help me a lot and they show you how to do better. I really like it because I have not had that before. I really enjoy this process. The coach improves my game, making it more suitable for the NBA basketball.“
As he said the day after the Draft, Kurucs said he had hoped the Nets would take him.
”If I had to choose an NBA team myself, then I would choose the same Brooklyn team, because it’s just the perfect option. I am very happy that I am with this club,“ concluded Kurucs.