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Nets are happy with defense of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reacts after scoring during

Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reacts after scoring during an NCAA college basketball tournament round of 32 game against Ohio State in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 21, 2015. Credit: AP

ORLANDO, Fla. - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put pen to an important piece of paper Monday, leaving his signature on a rookie contract with a few flicks of his left wrist.

The Nets hope he will do the same in a variety of ways on the court, improving on the promise he's shown through two games in the Orlando Summer League. Hollis-Jefferson, a 6-7, 220- pound forward, is off to a solid start and is proving to be a quick learner as he begins the transition from college to the NBA.

"He has a good attitude first -- first of all," Nets assistant coach Jay Humphries said. "He has done everything that we have asked when it comes to stepping up defensively."

The Pac-12 all-defensive team selection at Arizona has been knocked for his inability to hit shots from the perimeter. His jump shot isn't a thing of beauty, but it has been effective.

Hollis-Jefferson has averaged 8.5 points in the Summer League, putting him third on the team behind Ryan Boatright and Jonathan Simmons. He has hit 8 of 16 attempts, and his 50-percent showing from the floor is tops among those on the team with at least nine attempts.

Hollis-Jefferson gives the Nets athleticism and quickness they were sorely lacking, and his intangibles are a huge reason they acquired him from Portland after the Trail Blazers selected him No. 23 overall in last month's draft. The opportunity to land Hollis-Jefferson and veteran guard Steve Blake for Mason Plumlee and the rights to the 41st overall selection was too good to pass up.

The 20-year-old native of Chester, Pennsylvania, should add a different dimension to the Nets. "We don't need him to be a scorer," Humphries said. "We didn't draft him to go in and score 20 points a game. What we need him to do is to muck up the game a little bit. Defensively, get out and be able to guard some of their best players and just be a force that way."

New York Sports