When the 76rs acquired former Half Hollow Hills West star Tobias Harris from the Clippers as part of a blockbuster trade that took place in the wee hours Wednesday morning, it took a player widely regarded as a free agent target for the Nets this summer off the table. That is, unless Philadelphia packaged two first-round picks for a player they are renting, which is highly unlikely.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson declined to discuss the implications of that deal for the Nets before they faced the Nuggets Wednesday night at Barclays Center, and he also downplayed his team’s need for a stretch power forward as Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline approaches.
Asked about the need for more scoring at the four position, Atkinson said, “No, I’m not going to comment on that. I love our team. I love our guys. I think I’m focused on our internal improvement right now.”
Recently, Atkinson did say he and general manager Sean Marks talk constantly about the Nets’ need and how Atkinson evaluates each player, and he reinforced that before the deadline. “I don’t send him a Christmas wish list, like, ‘Hey, Sean, here’s all the things I want.’ We’re in constant conversation talking about the roster . . . We’re going through a little struggle shooting the ball, and we’re addressing it different ways. But I expect us to get back to shooting the ball well.”
Atkinson thinks Joe Harris is three-mendous
The NBA on Tuesday officially announced the addition of Nets guard Joe Harris to the three-point shooting contest on All-Star Weekend, and Atkinson was thrilled for Harris and the organization. “Joe Harris, thinking of where he came from, the Cleveland thing and not being in the league basically and how he’s starting for us. He signed an excellent contract, and now, he’s with the elite shooters in the league in the three-point shooting contest, which I love to watch. It’s great for him and great for the organization.”
LeVert gets in good G League practice
Caris LeVert practiced with the Nets G League team for the second time Wednesday and will be re-evaluated Thursday as he prepares to return soon from the dislocated right ankle he suffered three months ago. “Practice went great,” Atkinson said. “We’ll see how he does when we look at him tomorrow and go from there.”