The Nets have officially requested waivers on center Jahlil Okafor, the team announced Thursday. Following the move, Brooklyn’s roster stands at 16 standard contract players including Paul Millsap — a signing the Nets have yet to make official — and DeAndre’ Bembry, who’s partially guaranteed through December 15.
Despite his previous ties with Brooklyn, Okafor’s future as a Net was seen as unlikely from the time he was acquired by the Nets in the DeAndre Jordan dump with Detroit last week. He is slated to make $2.1 million this season which the Nets will have to eat unless he signs elsewhere or his deal stretched over three years at $710,000 per. The deadline to stretch a player is Saturday. Bobby Marks reports that if the Nets stretch Okafor’s contract, it would save them $6.7 million toward their luxury tax bill this year.
Meanwhile, Sekou Doumbouya — the other player acquired in the Jordan deal — took to Instagram to Thursday afternoon to announce he’s in Brooklyn.
Sekou Doumbouya is in Brooklyn according to his IG story. pic.twitter.com/528kAzfTDO— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) September 9, 2021
The Nets have hosted a number of their players at HSS Training Center throughout the week, including the likes of Nic Claxton, Joe Harris, Blake Griffin, rookie Cam Thomas, Bembry and Jevon Carter.
Doumbouya’s slated to earn $3.6 million next season. If the 20-year-old project can stick around, the Nets have till October 18 to decide whether to extend his rookie contract ... or let him become a restricted free agent next July.
Meanwhile, Millsap took to Instagram to post a short video of him on-site at HSS Training Center, an indication his signing will soon become official...
Paul Millsap is in Brooklyn— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) September 9, 2021
( IG: paulmillsap4) pic.twitter.com/5jeCw7usEY
Steve Clifford, the former NBA coach serving a consultant role with Brooklyn, spoke to the Portland Press Herald about his new duties and responsibilities, noting he was in Brooklyn last week helping the team prepare for training camp in late September.
“It’s really kind of ever-evolving,” Clifford said of his role. “Right now, it’s we’re here for coaches' meetings. Guys are in working out. It’s really planning training camp, talking about the plan for the year, watching some film to get up to par on personnel. It’s a lot of studying and meeting for discussions.”
Not long after the Okafor news broke, Atlanta landed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot — who spent the last two seasons with Brooklyn — to fill their final roster spot ahead of training camp, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Luwawu-Cabarrot, who is coming off winning an Olympic silver medal with France, is non-guaranteed.
The Hawks have signed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, sources told @TheAthleticNBA. Luwawu-Cabarrot spent the past two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets.— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) September 9, 2021
The housecleaning isn’t quite finished but it’s getting more manageable. Brooklyn will still need to waive one player to trim down the roster to 15 players before the season opener. The Nets can wait till after training camp to make the final cut if needed and still holds an open two-way contract slot.
The Nets also have to fill one of their two two-ways. They signed Kessler Edwards to one two-way last month.
In his interview with his hometown paper, Clifford described the “vibe” at HSS Training Center as the season approaches.
“Obviously, they had a great year last year and had some untimely injuries in the playoffs. You can tell from the vibe in the building there’s a lot of excitement for the season,” Clifford said.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Jordan addressed the media regarding the trade, at first jokingly saying that Durant and Irving were no longer his “friends,” then adding that two remain “brothers beyond basketball.”
Jordan, like Spencer Dinwiddie after the Wizards trade, thanked the Nets organization for helping him land in L.A.
“It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us,” he said. “And I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete. … It just worked better for both of us.”
- Nets waive Jahil Okafor, lose Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Hawks - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- BROOKLYN NETS WAIVE JAHLIL OKAFOR - Brooklyn Nets
- New Los Angeles Lakers center DeAndre Jordan says Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving remain ‘brothers beyond basketball’ - Dave McMenamin - ESPN