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Joe Harris, Seth Curry out of Wednesday opener, to be revaluated Thursday

Brooklyn Nets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Steve Nash says he’s not overly concerned, but he announced after Sunday’s practice that neither Joe Harris nor Seth Curry will play in Wednesday’s opener vs. the Pelicans. At this point, it appears that they and T.J. Warren will be the only Nets players out for Opening Night. Edmond Sumner is questionable. said Nash.

Harris and Curry will be evaluated Thursday, Nash noted.

“He’s actually doing a lot better and really is turning a corner but not in the time,” said Nash of Harris. “He’s going to start ramping up and taking part in more contact.”

“I’m not concerned. I’m positive. I’m optimistic,” Nash added. “It’s just not straightforward with guys coming off surgeries, assimilating back to play. It’s not always like straight up. Sometimes you go through some adaptation issues. So I think those guys are facing that more than, ‘Oh, the emergency lights are on and we’re concerned.’ I think we feel like this is just a part of them getting back to it.”

Harris played 15 minutes in the Nets first preseason game but experienced left foot soreness and didn’t step on the court during the three subsequent games. Harris underwent two surgeries on his left ankle last season, once on November 29, then again on March 21. His preseason stint was the first time he had played since going down vs. the Thunder two weeks before his first surgery.

“Similar situation,” said Nash of Curry’s timetable. “Maybe a hair behind Joe but those guys are going to participate in some contact over the next few days.”

Nash noted that Curry has been playing four-on-four in recent days. He had not participated in contact drills prior to that. His surgery took place on May 9.

“It’s well within the realm of normalcy for guys to have little hiccups on their way back from surgery,” Nash said.

In the meantime, Nash told reporters that he expects Cam Thomas will get some burn to help with scoring. Nash added that Thomas is a natural, “nearly a gifted passer.” The Nets have used Thomas as a combo guard in the preseason, playing the point as well as shooting guard.

As for Sumner, who has had a hip strain, Nash believes it’s possible he could play on Wednesday.

“Almost. He’s got a chance for Wednesday but we’ll see,” Nash said. “I think he had a few reps today and he’ll get some 5-on-5 in the next couple of days. We’ll see if he can make it for Wednesday.”

T.J. Warren coming off two years without playing in Indiana will be re-evaluated in November, the Nets have said without being more specific than that.

Harris talked about his soreness three days ago and didn’t seem concerned.

“My ankle honestly feels fine. It’s kind of the rest of my body that has to catch up,” Harris had said. “You just have little stuff here and there, whether it’s your knee or back, certain stuff just kind of flares up that typically hasn’t popped up in the past, but that’s all part of the rehab, too.

“I hadn’t played since last November, so taking that much time off and then trying to get back into the swing of things, the ankle is definitely feeling great but it’s kind of the rest of the body that’s got to get acclimated.”

Nash also expressed confidence in Royce O’Neale who started both road wins vs. the Bucks and Timberwolves in Harris’ absence.

“Royce is such an intelligent player, unselfish player, and [has a] complete awareness of who he is and what he does. It just makes a great fit for our guys,” Nash said. “He’s able to lead and direct on the floor. He understands how to sacrifice for teammates who are high-volume players, and just that awareness and IQ has been important for our team.”

“These guys are making it easier for me,” O’Neale said. “I try to make it easier for them. They’re creators, knocking down open shots and creating for them. Everybody reading off each other has been great.”

The Nets head coach also made note of Yuta Watanabe who has now moved from an Exhibit 9/10 deal to a non-guaranteed veterans minimum contract with the Nets. Nash said the 6’9” Watanabe can play with any group of players and praised his feel for the game. Watanabe played well in preseason, showing solid defense and hitting five of his 11 shots from beyond the arc.