First, the Jazz waived 33-year-old forward Jeff Green, then signed 22-year-old shooting guard Rayjon Tucker off the Bucks G League affiliate roster. Tucker, perhaps the top prospect in the G League this season, was averaging 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for the Wisconsin Herd. Tucker’s performance in the just completed G League Showcase, attended by GM’s from around the league, won over the Jazz brass.
In his tweets about the move Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that “several other teams [were] in hot pursuit” of Tucker, who had been undrafted out of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Then later Monday, SNY’s Ian Begley tweeted that among those teams in “hot pursuit” were the Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets were among the teams that expressed strong interest in signing Rayjon Tucker, per SNY sources. Brooklyn, presumably, would have added Tucker via a Disabled Player Exception created in the wake of David Nwaba’s season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles. https://t.co/LIXOkg4SiE— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 24, 2019
Later, Begley updated that tweet with another...
Correction: as @NetsDaily notes, Nets would have had to waive someone to add Rayjon Tucker. Or they could have signed him if granted a hardship waiver, which can be applied for later this month, per @BobbyMarks42. The Disabled Player Exception doesn’t create a roster spot. https://t.co/9eh7vqXiDw— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 24, 2019
So the Nets didn’t get Tucker who can play a bit of both guard spots, but Begley’s tweets indicate the Nets are indeed looking to make moves as they try to weather the injury storm ... and that includes opening a roster spot or using the hardship exception. Moreover, it suggests that the Nets are looking beyond Iman Shumpert and possibly to a young prospect for help.
Waiving a player would seem to make more sense than using the hardship exception, which is a complicated affair, to sign a prospect.
Specifically, the hardship provision allows a team to apply for a 16th roster spot if it has at least four players who have missed three or more consecutive games and those players will remain sidelined for two weeks beyond the date of the application.
The Nets are currently down five players. Kevin Durant and David Nwaba are expected to miss the rest of the season. That would mean Brooklyn would have to certify that two of their remaining three injured players — Caris LeVert (thumb), Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Nic Claxton (hamstring) — won’t be playing for another two weeks. After LeVert joined the Nets contact drills Monday, it would appear he’ll be back sooner than that.
Moreover, the hardship exception is temporary and would expire when one of the two injured players returned, which in this case could be a matter of days. That wouldn’t be very appealing to a young player and wouldn’t make much sense for the Nets either.