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Edmond Sumner signs free agent deal with Nets

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Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

A few hours after the Nets reportedly signed TJ Warren, the team signed his former Pacer back-up, Edmond Sumner, to a free agent deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

No word yet on whether the 6’6” wing’s contract is guaranteed.

Sumner, who missed the entire 2021-2022 season with a torn left Achilles, had the best season of his young NBA career the year before — a season when he posted averages of 7.5 points with shooting splits of 53/40/82 to pair with 1.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.6 steals in 16.32 minutes per game with the Pacers. He holds career averages of 5.7 points, 1.5 boards, and 1.1 assists in 14.1 minutes.

Not long before the Woj tweet, Sumner posted this...

The Nets traded for the injured Sumner and a 2025 second-round pick from the Pacers in exchange for the rights to their stash, Juan Pablo Vaulet, last October 2021. The deal was included in a series of moves that involved Brooklyn dumping Sekou Doumbouya and generating a $2.3 million trade exception while saving an estimated $8 million in salary and luxury taxes.

Sumner’s surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley, the Nets ankle and foot surgeon who also performed the same surgery on Kevin Durant. Sumner has been injury-prone over the course of his career, undergoing surgery for both shoulder and knee issues prior to his lost season due to Achilles surgery.

Sumner’s skill development coach, Joey Burton, broke down the timeline of the newest Net’s Achilles rehab. Sumner has looked “really, really explosive” in three-on-three sessions, said Burton, who added the 26-year-old has not yet partaken in a five-on-five session.

“It was a slow process at first. It was just him in a boot and us doing stationary shooting drills and a lot of ball handling drills. When he was able to get out of the boot, we were able to process a little bit more: walking into shots, one-legged balance stuff, and progress a little more when he could go light on the move. Now he’s full go,” Burton told NetsDaily.

“He hasn’t played five-on-five but he’s played some three-on-three and looks really, really explosive. He’s healthy. I think he is not going to have any hindrances because of his Achilles tendon.”

Burton, who has worked with Sumner since he was on a two-way contract with the Pacers, explained how the 26-year-old has really developed his speed during his rehab.

“He’s ahead of schedule. The same doctor that did KD’s surgery (O’Malley) did his, and the doctor said he’s very impressed with how far along he is. I think he’s going to be just fine. There will obviously be some timing and rhythm things in regards to playing five-on-five. I think one of the things this surgery has allowed him to do is really work on his pace,” Burton said. “He’s like a Ferrari. He’s just so fast in a straight line. I think he’s going to get on the floor and be really dynamic with his speed and his skill.”

Mike Robertson, who is the Co-Owner of IFAST (Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training), has worked with Sumner for four years and has had 80 sessions with the newest Net since the Achilles injury. Robertson, who praised Sumner’s character, echoed a similar statement to Burton’s about his charge’s rehab.

“His rehab has gone exceedingly well. Docs are pleased with his progress. He’s hit every milestone ahead of schedule, and based on his workouts in the gym and on the court, he looks every bit 100 percent,” Robertson told NetsDaily. “Coming off injury, I’d expect what most would — some nerves early on, but if he gets consistent minutes, a huge contributor off the bench. Elite athlete, great in transition, but has worked diligently to improve his shooting and can knock down 3’s at a high clip.”

Indeed, the Nets held a workout with Sumner in early June.

“He worked out with the Nets in early June and they were really shocked by his explosiveness,” a source familiar with the workout told NetsDaily. “They were really impressed by how explosive he looked in that workout to the point where they made a comment about it to him.”