Both David Duke Jr. and Devontae Cacok have been competing for the Nets second two-way contract and the right to split time between Brooklyn and Long Island. Now, it appears the two players will both remain with the Nets organization and log time in the G League.
The Long Island Nets announced a five-team trade on Friday, acquiring the G League rights to Cacok from the South Bay Lakers as well as the rights to Justin Johnson from the Lakeland Magic. In return, Long Island sent out the G League rights to B.J. Johnson and its own first round pick — the 20th — in the October 23 G League Draft to Lakeland.
That clears the way for Cacok to be signed to Long Island and Duke Jr. to be signed to a two-way contract with Brooklyn.
Cacok, 25, spent training camp and the NBA preseason with Brooklyn, averaging 7.5 points in two of the four Nets preseason games. But the Nets needed to acquire the former Lakers’ G League rights if they wanted to play him with Long Island. That’s because NBA teams are limited in converting Exhibit 10 contracts to G League deals.
In the past several days, the Nets have signed and waived four players who were on Exhibit 10s — Bryce Brown, Josh Gray, Jordan Bowden and Brandon Rachal. All are now bound for Long Island. That’s the most NBA teams can assign to their G League affiliates under league rules. So Brooklyn had to find a way to get Cacok to Long Island. The trade did just that.
The deal presumably doesn’t happen unless Cacok committed to play for Long Island.
For Cacok, it means a return to the G League where he appeared in 33 games during the 2019-20 season with the South Bay Lakers, averaging 19.4 points and 11. 9 rebounds on his way to earning All-G League first team and G League All-Rookie team honors. He was called up by Los Angeles for the “bubble” in 2020, earning him an NBA ring.
Johnson, 24, is a 6’7” forward who was drafted with the 43rd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Maryland. The Brantford, Ontario native, who had two stints with Lakeland, signed with the Guelph Nighthawks of the Canadian League on April 6. It remains to be seen if he will join Long Island Nets for the 2021-22 season which begins next month.
B.J. Johnson signed an NBA contract with Orlando Magic on Friday.
With the trade, the Long Island Nets roster is starting to take shape. As of Friday, it’s likely to include Cacok, Brown, Gray, Bowden and Rachal as well as Duke Jr. and the other two-way, Kessler Edwards, the Nets 44th pick in the NBA Draft. The Nets two late picks in the Draft, combo guard Marcus Zegarowski of Creighton taken 49th and power forward RaiQuan Gray, of Florida State taken 59th, are likely to be signed directly by Long Island.