Last season, top reserve Joe Harris was the poster-boy of the Nets’ development program, and it earned him a two-year deal worth $16 million this summer. Now, coach Kenny Atkinson is looking forward to the same kind of development from starters D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and Jarrett Allen, all of whom will be in their second season with the Nets.
“D’Angelo has had a fantastic offseason improving his body and working on his game,” Atkinson said Tuesday at the club’s preseason news conference. “We expect Allen Crabbe also after his first full offseason and really Jarrett [Allen], too, having his first full offseason in its entirety, I think you’re going to see those guys make jumps.”
Atkinson said veteran power forwards Ed Davis and Kenneth Faried, who were acquired in July, will improve the Nets’ rebounding and defense. “Those guys are going to add a little beef and physicality and toughness,” Atkinson said. “Really welcome additions to the team.”
Free agent Shabazz Napier should add competition to a crowded backcourt that includes Russell, Crabbe, Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. “He had an excellent year last year with Portland,” Atkinson said. “When we played them, he was on our scouting report as an X Factor for them. He’s going to push people for playing time.”
Injured Hollis-Jefferson, Musa will be cleared for camp
General manager Sean Marks said first-round draft pick Dzanan Musa, who suffered an ankle injury recently while playing for the Bosnian national team underwent an MRI Tuesday, and Hollis-Jefferson, who suffered a strained adductor muscle during an exhibition in China, is recovering well. “It is not as serious as was posted out there thankfully,” Marks said of Musa’s injury. “Both will be cleared and integrated into training camp.”…Marks announced that undrafted rookie Theo Pinson will receive the Nets’ remaining two-way contract. They previously announced that former Suns free agent Alan Williams was signed to a two-way deal. Williams missed all but five games last season with a knee injury but was an effective rebounder his previous two years. “He’s a two-way guy, but we’re not limiting him and saying he’ll play here or [with the LI Nets],” Marks said. “It’s open competition in training camp for everybody.”