Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, the Nets two-way forward, has had an interesting journey. In his three years in the NBA, the 6’7 small forward has been a part of four NBA teams and spent some time in the G League with the Delaware 87ers.
Now on his two-way deal with the Nets, Luwawu-Cabarrot joins a new team with a familiar face, one that helped him make up his mind. Long Island head coach Shaun Fein played with Luwawu-Cabarrot back in 2013-14 when both played with the Antibes Sharks in France, Fein as the veteran, TLC as a teenage prospect.
“Oh definitely,” Luwawu-Cabarrot said when asked if reuniting with Fein played a role in his decision. “That was definitely in the process of making a decision. We have always been friends and we always get together. I’ve been in the league for three years and every time I was coming back to Brooklyn, I was looking for him and trying to say hello because we have a great relationship.”
In addition, Luwawu-Cabarrot wanted to stay in the NBA and not go back overseas. Luwawu-Cabarrot could have made more money in Europe than he will on his two-way deal with the Nets.
“I wanted to still keep a foot in the NBA,” Luwawu-Cabarrot said. “The Nets always gave their two-ways an opportunity to play and that was the goal. I am just trying to get better with everything I work on. In the G League, be a leader of the team, try to do something good with the team.”
To that point, Luwawu-Cabarrot said he expects that he will be accompanying the Nets to Portland.
“I think I am going.”
The 24-year-old wasn’t the only Long Island player to talk about how much he liked the relationship between NBA team and G League affiliate. Deng Adel, who played 19 games with the Cavaliers last season —starting three— said he liked the way things work.
Shaun Fein said he hasn’t yet decided on a starting line-up. Long Island and the Knicks’ affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, did scrimmage earlier in the week.
“No we haven’t discussed that as a staff yet. We will probably discuss that over the next two days and we’ll come up with the lineup and the minutes plan and go from there.”
He and his prize point guard know what he wants, though.
One reason Fein may not have settled on a starting lineup is that Long Island doesn’t yet know who will be available.
Henry Ellenson, the other Nets two-way player, was not at LIN media day. Instead, the 6’11” former Piston and Knick was practicing with the Brooklyn Nets. DeAndre Jordan, who suffered an ankle sprain iss day-to-day, Ellenson is also likely to travel with the team to Portland for their west coast road trip.
Same with Nicolas Claxton, the Nets 31st pick in the 2019 draft, who was expected to spend a lot of time in the G League. Kenny Atkinson told Kristian Winfield that Claxton can be expected to play with Jordan sidelined with an ankle sprain. Jarrett Allen is likely to start at the center position.
“I think we can go some different ways with that backup position,” Atkinson said. “I think Nic Claxton, he’s gonna have to play some, depending on how long DeAndre’s out. I think Nic, he understands what we’re doing. We love his talent. At some point, he’ll get a shot.”