Shams Charania is reporting that the Nets are “progressing” to sign Lance Thomas who would presumably replace Wilson Chandler when Chandler heads off on a 25-game suspension in early November.
Separately, both Nick Lupo of Sportando and Charania report the Nets are signing swingman C.J. Williiams who played last season in Minnesota ... and the Nets report that the team have signed John Egbunu.
Former Clippers/T’Wolves forward CJ Williams has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Nets, and Brooklyn is progressing on deal to sign ex-Knicks F Lance Thomas too, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 25, 2019
ROSTER NEWS: The Brooklyn Nets have signed center John Egbunu and guard C.J. Williams. https://t.co/lFs6bCYmIc— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 25, 2019
A number of writers had suggested the 6’8” Thomas was a serious candidate for the role.
Shams wrote Tuesday that Thomas, Dante Cunningham and Luol Deng Harv emerged as viable options to sign what will be a short term deal. Charania seems to have reported as well that of the three, only Thomas has worked out for the Nets.
On Wednesday, Knick beat reporter Marc Berman said Brooklyn was “seriously eyeing” Thomas.
According to a league source, the Nets are seriously eyeing ex-Knick Lance Thomas, who has also scrimmaged with Knicks players this month. Thomas was the longest-tenured Knick before brass elected not to re-sign him.
Greg Logan of Newsday later added his sourcing ...
Former Knick Lance Thomas has worked out for #Nets, NBA source confirms to Newsday. Strong possibility to add to veteran presence.— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) September 25, 2019
Of course, the loss of Chandler is only one issue the Nets face at the 4. Kevin Durant may be out for the season and Rodions Kurucs is facing domestic assault charges. Taurean Prince is the likely starter.
The Nets can take on Thomas —or another player— in a number of ways. They could sign him once Chandler goes on the inactive list on the night of November 1 or invite him to training camp, which opens Friday, cut him just before the season begins then re-sign him in November.
Asked if the Nets would bring in someone to replace Chandler, Marks said at Tuesday’s press conference that it’s likely.
“Yeah, we would definitely look at that. Like always, you keep all your options open as long as you can. I think that’s what we’ll do,” said the GM. However, Marks said he wasn’t certain that the Nets needed to sign someone for the training camp roster.
“It’s not necessary. I think the way the NBA market is going, if you canvass the league, you look at other teams out there that have to make decisions on their roster sizes and so forth,” said Marks. “We’ll be watching that, we’ll be watching the market all over the place. If it’s somebody we can bring into camp, great. If not, I think we will definitely do our due diligence.”
The 31-year-old was the longest serving Knick player before being waived on June 29 to save a million dollars in salary cap space for the Knicks pursuit of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He averaged 4.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 46 games last season while averaging 17 minutes a game. The Duke product has eight seasons of NBA experience. He has gained a reputation as a defensive specialist and a reliable 3-point shooter, hitting 38.3 percent for his career.
Thomas, Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, has intrigued the Nets in the past. He played for the Nets summer league team in July 2010 but was cut in training camp. Then, in May 2014, Thomas was invited to a Nets mini-camp.
Sportando was first to report Wednesday that Williams, a 6’5”, 230-pound swingman, is signing a deal, not further described, with the Nets. Charania had reported Tuesday that the Nets have been interested in the much-traveled Williams and NetsDaily spotted him Wednesday at HSS Training Center in workout gear. Then, Wednesday, Sharania tweeted that Williams had signed a non-guaranteed deal.
One possibility is that Williams, who played for the Clippers before the Timberwolves last season, will be the second two-way player on the Nets roster. Here’s a video of his highlights...
Egbunu is 6’11”, 265-pound big man who lost nearly two seasons in college due to a bad knee injury. The athletic Nigerian big spent three seasons at the University of Florida, playing between 2015 and 2018 at Gainesville after playing his freshman year at the University of South Florida in 2013-14. As a sophomore and junior with the Gators, the Nigeria native appeared in 58 games (49 starts), averaging 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 24.0 minutes per contest.
Here’s highlights from his last healthy season at Florida.
So, at this point, in addition to the Nets 15 roster players, the Nets have invited four other players to camp: Williams, Egbunu, Henry Ellenson, a 6’11” power forward who played for the Knicks and Pistons last season; Deng Adel, a 6’7” small forward who played for the Cavaliers,
- Nets in conversations with ex- Knick Lance Thomas regarding roster spot - Ian Begley - SNY