With the Nets final moves now (apparently) complete —and with some under-the-radar trades out of the way, the Long Island Nets’ roster is shaping up. There’s been no formal announcement regarding the roster. Nor has the G League “bubble” firmed up, but following recent moves by both Brooklyn and Long Island, you can start to see what the Long Island core will look like.
Start with the Nets two two-ways, Reggie Perry, the 6’10” draft pick from Mississippi State, and Jeremiah Martin, the 6’2” combo guard who played for Long Island, then for Brooklyn in the Orlando “bubble,” putting up games of 20 and 24 while showing off some defensive skills. Under the new G League rules concerning two-ways, Perry and Martin can can be active for 50 games before the Nets would have to decide on whether to sign them to a standard NBA contract. That would seem unlikely. Two-ways receive $449,155 for the season, half the rookie minimum.
The Nets can also assign four players cut from Brooklyn’s training camp roster directly to Long Island. Apparently, that means Long Island will hold the G League rights to 6’3” point guard Elie Okobo, who the Nets signed Wednesday, and 6’8” power forward Paul Eboua, signed Friday. Both were cut Saturday evening by Brooklyn. Two earlier camp cuts, 6’9” stretch-4 Nate Sestina, and 6’5” 3-and-D prospect, Jordan Bowden, are apparently also headed to Long Island. (The Nets could not assign Chris Chiozza to Long Island. His G League rights are still held by the Capitol City Go-Go, the Wizards affiliate, who were the last G League team he played for.)
Long Island acquired the rights of three other players in G League trades earlier in the off-season: 6’10” forward Tariq Owens of the Northern Arizona Suns, who played for the G League vets in two exhibition games this week vs. the G League’s Team Ignite; 6’7” shooting guard Kaiser Gates of the Maine Red Claws and 6’1” point guard Matt Farrell, also from Northern Arizona. Nor would it be surprising if the Nets sent Nicolas Claxton to Long Island for a rehab tour once his knee tendinopathy clears up.
The Nets have already hired Bret Brielmaier as Long Island’s new head coach, elevating him from a Brooklyn assistant’s job.
In putting together the roster, Long Island GM Matt Riccardi seems to be taking advantage of the special circumstances surrounding the G League this season. Rather than have G League teams fly commercial and risk being infected by the coronavirus, the NBA is investigating having a reduced number of teams play an abbreviated schedule in a “bubble” near Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The league is requiring teams that opt in to the “bubble” pay a $500,000 one-time fee. The Nets are among those teams opting in. The Heat, Celtics and Suns, among others, decided not to field teams in the “bubble,”
So, Eboua who would normally have wound up playing with the Heat affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, became a free agent. Owens and Farrell, who played in Prescott Valley, Arizona, last year were left without any G League team.
No word yet on when the G League “bubble” will open up, but reports have NBA officials hoping for a start sometime in January.