The Brooklyn Nets have two roster spots remaining heading into training camp and there are some big men still available on the market.
The Brooklyn Nets currently have 18 players on the roster. With two roster spots remaining and training camp approaching, what should Brooklyn do?
There is plenty of backcourt players. The Nets have enough guards and wings heading into training camp. Each of those players have a good idea whether they will play with the Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19 or the Long Island Nets; Brooklyn’s G League affiliate team.
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If the Nets do choose to fill the two remaining spots before training camp, they should pursue free agent big men.
Tyler Davis, who was one of Brooklyn’s bright Summer League big men, signed a two-way deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this month.
Trevor Thompson, who played well for the Brooklyn Nets Summer League team, signed a two-year deal with the Antibes Sharks of the LNB Pro A league in France.
The only Net big man from the Summer League that will be playing for Brooklyn in 2018-19 is Jarrett Allen.
The only big man on the Nets roster is Ed Davis. Davis, who is expected to see minutes at center and power forward, is expected to be Allen’s backup. Kenneth Faried can also play some minutes at the center position but he plays best at power forward.
With the Brooklyn Nets only having one secure center and two players who could play minutes at the 5, the two roster spots should be used on big men.
The free agent market has some average big men waiting for a team to sign them. If the Brooklyn Nets do pursue a big man or big men with the two remaining spots, it will be under a non-guaranteed minimum deal.
This means the deal will qualify for undrafted free agents or young veterans.
Sir Charles In Charge
Here are some young veteran big men who are on the free agent market:
- Matt Costello
- Mangok Mathiang
- Joel Bolomboy
- A.J. Hammons
- Chinanu Onuaku
- Georgios Papagiannis
- Marshall Plumlee
Out of that group, Chinanu Onuaku would suit the Nets the best. Onuaku has spent the past two seasons bouncing around with the Houston Rockets and their G League team affiliation team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Onuaku only played a total of six games for the Houston Rockets the past two seasons. In 2016-17, Onuaku played in five games and started in one of them. Last season, he played in only one game for the Rockets.
In that game, Onuaku played 22 minutes and recorded four points, four rebounds and an assist.
He is a traditional big man who does not shoot the ball often. Onuaku stays in the paint and is a good screen setter and plays well. He is expected to be picked up off the free agent market and spend a good majority with a G League team.
The Nets should look into signing Onuaku to a non-guaranteed veteran minimum deal to bring depth to the center position.
Another big man on that list is Marshall Plumlee. Plumlee has two brothers who currently play in the NBA; Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee. Mason Plumlee was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
He went on to play two seasons for Brooklyn before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for the draft rights to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Marshall Plumlee has played in two NBA seasons. Plumlee spent the 2016-17 season with the New York Knicks and their G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. Plumlee played in a total of 21 games for the New York Knicks that season and started in one of them.
He averaged 8.1 minutes, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 points per game that season.
In 2017-18, Plumlee faced a similar situation as the 2016-17 season but with two new teams. Plumlee played with the Milwaukee Bucks and their G League affiliate the Wisconsin Herd.
Plumlee would only play in eight games with the Bucks, averaging 6.5 minutes, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 points.
The former Duke Blue Devil is a traditional big man who has a similar playing style to his older brother Mason Plumlee. He can shoot well from mid-range and has good footwork under the rim.
Plumlee is expected to play next season with a G League affiliate team, but the Nets can sign him to a non-guaranteed veteran’s minimum deal and secure his G League rights in the process.