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Long Island Nets add B.J. Johnson to roster as teams arrive in Orlando ‘Bubble’

Raptors 905 v Lakeland Magic Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets announced their training camp roster Wednesday and disclosed that they’ve traded for G League sharpshooter B.J. Johnson, who’s played for the Hawks, Kings and Magic.

As previously reported, Long Island will have the services of Jeremiah Martin, who did well for the Nets in the NBA “bubble,” and former Suns point guard Elie Okobo as well as Long Island veterans Shannon Scott and C.J. Massinburg. The roster also includes the Nets two two-way players, Reggie Perry and Chris Chiozza.

The 6’7” Johnson was the fourth highest scorer in the G League last season, averaging 22.9 points a game while shooting 42.3 percent from deep. The 25-year-old LaSalle product also averaged 6.4 boards and 2.1 steals. Long Island GM Matt Riccardi acquired Johnson from the Lakeland Magic for the rights to Devin Cannady who was cut by Orlando in training camp. Johnson has appeared in seven NBA games and 67 in the G League.

Here’s some highlights from last month, including a game vs. Long Island...

The Long Islander with the most NBA experience, Okobo, was selected with the 31st pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Suns and played with both the Suns and their G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, the last two years. In the NBA last season, Okobo played in 55 games, including three starts, averaging 4.0 points and 2.1 assists in 15 minutes while shooting 40/35/70. Although Okobo showed flashes, the Suns felt he was too inconsistent. Sean Marks personally scouted the Frenchman before the 2018 Draft. The Nets signed and waived him in December retaining his G League rights.

Martin, who had games of 20 and 24 points for the Nets in the “bubble,” was acquired earlier this month after he had been cut by Brooklyn in December. Long Island traded the eighth overall pick in the 2021 NBA G League Draft to the Lakeland Magic earlier this month as part of a three-way deal.

The most intriguing rookie on the roster is 20-year-old Paul Eboua, a 6’8” Cameroonian power forward who played in Italy the last three seasons, After going undrafted in the NBA Draft, Eboua was signed by the Heat then waived. The Nets claimed him off waivers three days before Opening Night, then waived. Eboua had been linked to the Nets in multiple mock drafts.

In addition to Eboua, Long Island signed two college players, Nate Sestina, a 6’9” stretch 4 who played for Kentucky and before that, Bucknell, and Jordan Bowden, a 6’5” 3-and-D prospect out of Kentucky. Both spent time in Brooklyn’s training camp.

Riccardi also traded for two other young players, Kaiser Gates, a 6’7” shooting guard who played for Maine last season, and Tariq Owens, a 6’10” shot-blocking big who played for Northern Arizona. Gates’ rights were acquired from the Red Claws in exchange for the returning player rights to Deng Adel. Owens’ rights were acquired from the Suns in exchange for rights to Long Island’s Joe Cremo and Drew Gordon. Owens played for St. John’s as well as Texas A&M.

The Nets are at Disney World undergoing a two day quarantine. Camp will open Friday and their abbreviated 15-game season will begin in Orlando on February 10 vs. the Iowa Wolves at 7 p.m. The top eight teams will then advance to a single-elimination playoff.

The Nets will be featured on national television once during the regular season, with Long Island’s matchup against the NBA G League’s Team Ignite on Monday, February 22, at 3 p.m. broadcast on ESPNU. The rest of Long Island’s games will be available online on ESPN+.

Bret Brielmaier, the long time Brooklyn assistant, will debut as a head coach.