Here are three Nets players with the most to prove during the NBA restart.
Perhaps no team in the NBA bubble for the restart project faces lower stakes than the Nets. While the majority of the teams invited will be competing for a championship, Brooklyn can sleep at night knowing that its most important players — like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan Spencer Dinwiddie and Wilson Chandler, to name a few — didn’t make the trip.
So long as the Nets escape unscathed and don’t have to pull themselves out of Orlando, fans should be content with a first-round exit in the playoffs.
However, just because their expectations don’t align with other teams doesn’t mean that Brooklyn traveled to Disney World without its own ambitions.
The team is clearly preparing for next season, and some of its players should thereby treat the remainder of this campaign as an audition for a roster spot. With this in mind, let’s highlight a few Nets that should play like their future contract depends on it.
3. Jeremiah Martin
Jeremiah Martin has a lot to prove with the Nets.
Signed to a two-way contract by the Nets in January, guard Jeremiah Martin appeared in just three games for Brooklyn over the next several weeks.
The former Memphis Tiger spent most of his time playing for the Long Island Nets of the G League, where he logged 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals across 16 contests. Luckily for him, two-way players were declared eligible for the resumption of the NBA season, so he figures to play heavy minutes at point guard next to projected starter Chris Chiozza, who was playing surprisingly well before play was halted in March.
If there’s a singular player on the Nets with the least data available and the largest opportunity, it’s Martin. Expect the 24-year-old to play with boundless energy whenever he takes the floor in Orlando.