Dzanan Musa’s NBA career has failed to play out to the extent that both Musa himself, and the Brooklyn Nets wished for when they drafted him in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. Still, with much to prove, fans would be wise to keep a tab on the Bosnian Beast as we move towards next season’s tipoff.
After the Brooklyn Nets managed to stir up some trade winds this summer and allowed themselves to omit the NBA Draft’s first round to remain fiscally intact, forgetting about the team’s unseen prospects lies before Brooklyn fans as an exceptionally easy trap to fall into. All the while for one specific prospect, that trap grows even more seductive when noting how injuries and G-League assignments essentially disparaged his rookie year.
Although these circumstances, combined with other headlines following such an eventful offseason, certainly continues to build up a mass commotion, swallowing this consequently forgotten NBA talent, it’s time to diffuse the storm and end this “guess who” game. In case you haven’t already figured it out, this player I’m referring to is a former first-round pick, Dzanan Musa.
After the Nets spent the 29th overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, Musa frankly let down those expecting for him to break out, as at the time most saw Musa as a worthy stock investment and believed Brooklyn got him as a steal during the first round’s waning stages. While playing overseas, Musa wielded an effective jump shot accompanied with notable quickness allowing to defend well and work as a slasher.
Unfortunately, Musa suffered an early ankle injury which was then encoded by a dangerous shoulder subluxation just a few months later. After spending what seemed like his entire time with team’s trainers, rather than with his teammates on the hardwood, the team eventually moved on and tipped off their soon-to-be first playoff campaign since the 2014-2015 season without him.
Following that, during Musa’s brief and rare graduations from the team’s injured reserve list, he failed to establish a roster spot and spent nearly his entire time with Brooklyn’s G-League team, the Long Island Nets.
Coming to his own rescue, however, during these stints Musa still managed to remind everyone about his first-round pick pedigree. Suiting up for 36 games, Musa averaged 19.5 points, 3.6 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per–game. The Bosnian product also managed to squeeze in a few minutes at the NBA level from time to time, appearing momentarily in 9 games while also eating up some garbage time minutes during Brooklyn’s playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
However, with him only a year removed from his draft night, the Nets and Musa both certainly wish for something more than G-League championships and meaningless minutes at the professional level as his basketball journey rolls on. With that said, Musa appears certain to improve this disappointing narrative detailing his career thus far.
All aboard for Brooklyn during the NBA Summer League, Musa averaged 11.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per–game. Also attracting a spotlight and exciting fans early on during the tournament, Musa emphatically swatted away a potential game-winning while facing off against the Detroit Pistons.
While these numbers fail to warrant an exclamation point beside them, Musa’s ability to score admirably while avoiding any injuries, a feat which he certainly failed to conquer previously, provides him some much-needed hope.
Musa’s involvement this summer seemed to boost his mental state as another NBA season lurks upon the horizon. Even amidst some ongoing growing pains for the sophomore, Musa’s continues to beam with undeniable confidence and poise according to those within the organization.
Nonetheless, even with promising factors such as these continuing to brew around Musa, acting on them at the NBA level remains a Jarret Allen sized task.
With a roster ahead next season seemingly flooded with talent across the board after Brooklyn added both Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan to an already playoff-caliber roster, expect the forward/guard to scratch and claw for minutes early on. However, at the same time, don’t be surprised to see his skill set and confidence carry over and translate to on-court success.
Whether or not things pan out for Musa, he certainly warrants our attention and should draw yours as well.