A turnover set the Pistons in motion Tuesday night at Barclays Center, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was soon headed up for what looked like a sure layup. But Archie Goodwin had been racing down the court after him, a 6-5 guard hustling for a block and a steady NBA job.
The 22-year-old Nets newcomer rose from behind Caldwell-Pope and tipped the shot on its way up, knocking the ball off the backboard.
“If you watch me play, you’ll see that’s how I play,” Goodwin said Wednesday at the HSS Training Center. “ . . . I’m a hard worker.”
Goodwin is working on a 10-day deal that runs through Friday. He has quickly made a good impression in his bid to land another 10-day deal or more after playing much of the season in Greensboro Swarm clothing down in the D-League.
The former first-round pick played as a reserve the last two games. His best work came in the 98-96 win over Detroit — 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 18 minutes.
“Not necessarily pressure, but I do know the severity of the situation,” Goodwin said of what he has felt since signing on March 15. “You have 10 days to prove your worth.”
The Nets are 14-56 with 12 games left. They face Goodwin’s former Phoenix team Thursday night in Brooklyn. Coach Kenny Atkinson said he thinks the organization will talk Thursday about Goodwin’s future.
“I would say it’s trending very positive,” Atkinson said. “ . . . I’m intrigued by the athlete. That’s always been his MO, like this guy is an athletic guy. We can definitely upgrade our athleticism. I love how easy he moves to spaces.”
Jeremy Lin sat out the Detroit game with a sprained ankle, so more minutes were available at the point for Goodwin. Lin is probable for Phoenix. But Goodwin’s audition figures to continue.
“He’s a good high-character guy,” teammate Quincy Acy said. “ . . . I think he has a shot.”
After a one-and-done run at Kentucky, Oklahoma City made Goodwin the 29th overall selection in 2013. But the Arkansas native was dealt to Phoenix and played 150 games over three seasons, averaging 14.5 minutes and 6.2 points. The Suns always had a glut of guards. They released Goodwin in October.
Next came three games with New Orleans in November before he was waived. He went to Greensboro and averaged 17 points across 34 games. Although Goodwin can play both guard spots, the Nets see him primarily as a point guard right now. He feels he’s better there, too.
“I’m not the best shooter in the world,” Goodwin said. “ . . . I get to the rim. I can score in the paint and make plays for others.”