For the second straight season, Dzanan Musa is the Nets youngest player. He’s three weeks younger than Nicolas Claxton, the team’s sole rookie. And of course, he was one of the Long Island Nets best all-around star players last season. In 36 games, 34 of them starts, he posted averages of 31.6 minutes, 19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists and Long Island came within one win of the G League championship.
Despite all that, the 6’9” swingman has no interest in making the trek from Brooklyn back to Uniondale. Those days, he hopes, are done. The Nets 2018 first round pick says he is ready to play for the BROOKLYN Nets and hopes he does not return to Long Island next season.
“First, the Long Island experience was just great for me to learn American basketball goes,” Musa told NetsDaily. “I think that was great for me but I hope I am no more there. I think I am ready for the opportunity in Brooklyn and I am hoping I will take advantage of it.”
Musa, who’s from Bosnia, did not get much of a chance to return to his hometown of Bihać during the offseason. Instead, his summer consisted of a lot of work —work on his game, work on his body, work on his mindset— and he believes that hard work should translate into an opportunity with Brooklyn.
“You know, I worked very hard this summer, very hard,” Musa told NetsDaily. “I basically did not go home because of that. I put in a lot of work and I think I deserve the chance and I am ready for it but that’s up to the coach.”
“I think I have a place on this team and do whatever he needs me to do.”
In addition to working on his basketball craft, Musa was a part of the Nets workouts in LA that Kyrie Irving organized. When asked what he learned from that experience and what was his biggest takeaway, he valued the bonds players built and the dinners with teammates.
“We has several dinners and I think we had a great time there,” Musa told NetsDaily. “We built that bond between us players and I think all of us became friends.”
Noticeably bigger than when he joined the team last season, the question is where he fits on the court. At 6’9”, Musa can play the 1, 2 or 3. His now departed G League coach, Will Weaver, called him the best passer in the G League and although he’s unlikely to play the point in the NBA, that skill could make him an ideal secondary playmaker.
Although a decent 3-point shooter last year —35.5 percent on Long Island— his big off season improvement has been as hitting the deep three. In fact, Kenny Atkinson named Musa as one of the players whose progress has impressed him in scrimmages this summer.
Now, the issue is where will the Nets find the minutes for their 29th pick last year.