The Manhattan skyline sat shrouded in fog from the windows of the Nets’ eighth-floor gym in Brooklyn. But Sean Kilpatrick took a seat by one end of the court after Monday’s practice and could see a future star on this side of the horizon.
“I would be selling myself short if I said no,” Kilpatrick said. “But I just want to continue to keep getting better. There’s so much room for improvement.”
The Nets stand at 18-48 heading into Tuesday night’s game against Philadelphia at Barclays Center. This is the land of opportunity now for the younger players, and Kilpatrick is taking a good shot at proving he belongs.
The 6-4, 26-year-old shooting guard is on his second 10-day contract. Yet he looked like a poised, secure veteran in Sunday’s loss to Milwaukee, burying three three-pointers in the fourth quarter on the way to matching his Nets high with 19 points in his seventh game.
It marked his home debut with the Nets after growing up in Yonkers and White Plains, where he’s living again. Kilpatrick called the ovation he received and his home-area performance “a New York kid’s dream.”
He’s happy his mom and daughter can see him play, and he’d love to stay. Kilpatrick is averaging 13.6 points and 43.5 percent on threes off the bench over his last five games.
“He just looks very comfortable, and he has a lot of confidence in his scoring abilities,” interim coach Tony Brown said. “He’s playing well, and it’s good to see.”
There’s only one player who scored more points than him in University of Cincinnati history — Oscar Robertson. Kilpatrick had a meniscus tear that required surgery, however, and went undrafted in 2014.
“But I never gave up,” he said.
Kilpatrick played four games with Minnesota on a 10-day deal as a rookie and eight with Denver on two 10-day deals earlier this season. He was averaging a D-League-leading 26.4 points with Delaware on Feb. 28 when new Nets GM Sean Marks signed him.
“God had a plan for me,” Kilpatrick said. “With that being said, look where I’m at now.”