Both Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris received invitations to practice with Team USA this summer. Could we see them represent the Nets internationally and move up onto the team’s starting roster?
As the NBA’s crowning jewels continue to favor their domestic basketball responsibilities above their international ones this summer—players such as James Harden and Anthony Davis recently played into that trend—and in the process vacating their spots aboard the USA basketball team, opportunities arise for the “other guys”. With the team’s roster and the time between now and the FIBA World Cup both shrinking rapidly, two key contributors from the Brooklyn Nets’ prior season now await the chance to hit the hardwood while wearing that timeless red, white, and blue uniforms.
Answering a call to join what’s basically a “practice squad,” center Jarrett Allen and forward Joe Harris now find themselves with a chance to represent the Nets, and if called up to the main team, the entire country as well.
Aside from his admirable overall play during last year’s campaign where he averaged 13.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, Harris and his league-leading 47.4 3PT percentage most likely played as the largest factor in drawing the USA Basketball program’s attention. Although the Brooklyn Nets faithful always knew about Harris’s ability to rain fire from beyond the arc, he educated the entire league during last season’s All-Star weekend after defeating Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and others to win the 3–Point Contest.
Excelling at an entirely different aspect of the game, Jarrett Allen also managed to attain some long-awaited attention during the 2018–19 season. Allen quickly earned league-wide recognition as a talented rim protector with infinite potential after rejecting multiple slam-dunk aficionados such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Blake Griffin last year.
With his trademark afro chiseled to perfection all season, Allen finished things off averaging 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
Although Team USA remains equipped with valuable players such as Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Lowry, and Jayson Tatum still committed to the program, the lacking talent available to compliment said players gives reason to expect a possible opening for either Allen or Harris to move up an achieve a spot on the final roster.
Former Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley even addressed the team’s noticeable need for additional talent. Dudley, who indeed remains a useful bench player yet still lacks the talent to play at the FIBA World Cup, jokingly offered up his services to Team USA while on twitter just a few weeks ago.
All jokes aside, centers already with solidified spots aboard the team such as Brook Lopez, Miles Turner, and Bam Adebayo now serve as hurdles placed ahead Allen. With Allen already averaging more points and shooting with a higher percentage than Adebayo, look for “the Fro” to potentially steal his spot away during the upcoming weeks.
Meanwhile, those already playing at Harris’s position include Harrison Barnes, Kyle Kuzma, Khris Middleton, PJ Tucker, and Tatum. Tucker stands as the outlier for the group, and therefore the consequential prey for Harris as he looks to move up. Tucker averaged a less impressive 7.3 points per game last year, certainly deeming him a far less lucrative option than Brooklyn’s three-point wizard.
Speculation aside, head coach Greg Popovich remains positioned atop the team, pulling the strings as he has for the last five years and owning all responsibilities behind a possible Allen/Harris call–up.
Still, with Harris’s and Allen’s skillset both appearing beneficial to a roster seemingly assembled with the basketball tools equivalent to duck tape and glue sticks, and even perhaps with some more suggestive jokes from Dudley, we might just see our Nets go global before summer ends.