The Nets signed Lance Thomas, the ex-Knick captain, to a training camp deal Friday morning, giving them 20 players, the max, but the team still has some questions left unsettled.
Here are the key ones:
—Thomas is signed only to a camp invite, a non-guaranteed deal, but it’s anticipated that he will be Wilson Chandler’s designated replacement once Chandler’s PED suspension kicks in after the Nets-Rockets game on November 1, the fifth game of the season. However, unless there is an unanticipated opening the 15-man roster, the Nets will have to waive him at the end of camp, then re-sign him on November 2. Nets won’t say if they have such a handshake deal.
—Although the NBA permits two two-way contracts, the Nets currently have only one player on a two-way deal, Henry Ellenson. He was signed back in July. The Nets can upgrade any of their Exhibit 10 contracts —Deng Adel, John Egbunu or C.J. Williams— to a two-way during camp ... or they can wait and see if there’s another player they like for the two-way. Two-way players can be signed up until January 15. (Thomas cannot be signed to a two-way deal. Players with more than four years NBA experience are ineligible for two-way deals.)
—Jaylen Hands appears headed to Long Island. The 56th pick in the Draft was never signed by the Nets although he did play in the Summer League. The UCLA point guard canbe signed under the “Draft Rights Player” rule. NBA teams can draft players and sign them directly to G League contracts under the rule. The players are paid like a G League player and do not count against either the roster or salary cap. The team that drafted the player retains the player’s rights and he can’t be called up by another team. Hands would in essence become a domestic stash. They could presumably elevate him to a two-way at some point.
—Rodions Kurucs status remains up in the air. His next court date in October 21, two days before the season begins. The NBA is also investigating him and can, under their agreement with the NBPA, put him on administrative leave till they complete their investigation. They have not. Once his case is adjudicated, the league can suspend him, fire him or both. Can he travel to China while his court case continues?