4 Potential Nets Targets for 10-Day Contracts
The Brooklyn Nets are at the bottom of the NBA, the absolute basement. You cannot make an argument for a situation worse than the Nets in the NBA — they’re simply in no man’s land. They lack the talent to compete in the present, but also lack the draft picks and assets it takes to upgrade anytime soon. What they do have is cap space and, at this point in the season, roster space. Players became eligible to sign 10-day contracts with any team in the association with cap space on January 8th and the Nets were quick to make waves after guaranteeing Spencer Dinwiddie’s contract for the remainder of the year.
The Nets were one of the first teams to pounce as they inked four-year vet Quincy Acy to a 10-day contract and cut loose Anthony Bennett (who has since signed in Turkey, by the way). Acy has made a minimal impact on the Nets, notching a little over 6 points and 2 rebounds in four games — he was a DNP once — but Kenny Atkinson is an admitted fan of his hustle. It’s likely that Acy, who offers limited upside as an undersized defensive-minded forward, will be let go and the Nets will look elsewhere to occupy the 15th roster spot.
If the Nets move on from Acy, here are 4 players the Nets could target:
1. Chasson Randle
Chasson Randle, an undrafted rookie out of Stanford, has spent most of his time this season with the New York Knicks’ D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. In 32 minutes per game, Randle averaged 20.7 points as the Knicks’ lead guard. Randle also showed plenty of potential in the preseason with the Knicks, including a 14-point, 3-steal performance against Brooklyn.Of course, Randle was signed to a 10-day deal by the Philadelphia 76ers on the same day the Nets inked Acy — so decision day looms for them as well.
So far, Randle has shown potential in limited action. His debut came in 6 minutes of garbage time during a loss to the Washington Wizards, but against the Milwaukee Bucks a few days later, he played 16 minutes as the team’s primary back-up. With T.J. McConnell absent, Randle spelled Sergio Rodriguez and contributed 10 points in a win that night. Even better, head coach Brett Brown said Randle had a “really, really important” role in the win, but the rookie probably won’t leap up the depth chart behind McConnell and Rodriguez.
With Sean Marks looking to find diamonds in the rough a la Sean Kilpatrick last year, Randle could certainly find opportunities in Brooklyn with Jeremy Lin sidelined and the team looking for talent. Minutes wouldn’t be hard to come by if he can outplay the inconsistent Spencer Dinwiddie for the backup point guard spot.
2. R.J. Hunter
R.J. Hunter was a 2015 first round draft pick made by the Boston Celtics, but following their more-picks-than-roster-spots dilemma this fall, he was cut after just one season. After spending a underwhelming stint with the Chicago Bulls, he ended up back on the market, eventually signing with the Long Island Nets on January 6th. How comforting would it be if Hunter landed with the Nets and turned out to be a contributor? Since joining the D-League affiliate, Hunter has scored 21 points per game and has been an efficient shooter, hitting at a 48% clip from the field. Though he’s been struggling from beyond the arc, his offensive upside and general ability to shoot the ball make him an intriguing flier.
In the short term, he can be a sparkplug off the bench for Kenny Atkinson’s run-and-gun offense, but he could see some burn as a rotation member in the future should they craft him as a future piece of the rotation. Remember, after all, he was the engine that drove the Georgia State Cinderella run during the 2015 NCAA Tournament — the kid could ball, Atkinson just needs to find him.
3. Yogi Ferrell
Give Yogi Ferrell another chance, why not? He’s still is lighting it up with the three-pointer at 38% on an insane 6.8 attempts per game. Ignoring his early, rushed stint with the Nets, Ferrell has been shown patience and trust so far by Nets’ management, even so despite the scare that the 76ers might sign him to a 10-day deal. He’s been in the system all season and is the kind of low risk-high reward player the Nets could utilize to finish out this season. Isaiah Whitehead needs competition for the backup point guard spot and it’s worth a shot to see if Ferrell can outplay Dinwiddie for the last spot in the rotation. Ferrell has the ability to hit the three-ball and that makes him a potentially perfect fit for Atkinson’s offense, which is perhaps why the new regime hasn’t given up on him.
Although his on-the-smaller-side height, 6’0, likely lead to his first cut, Ferrell has proven himself capable of dominating the D-League, so his dreams of making the big leagues may lead him back to black and white sooner rather than later.
4. Briante Weber
Briante Weber is a 6’4 point guard that has torn up the D-League all season — yet, surprisingly, has not earned a call-up since the Miami Heat cut him in October. Weber is hailed for his elite on-ball defending and has averaged some straight-up video game numbers for the Sioux Fall Skyhawks thus far, tallying 15.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assists.
The Nets must have something in store for Dinwiddie, given his guarantee despite the mostly decent statistical outputs, but if you want a point guard to set the tone, play smart, and work hard, look no further than Weber. Against the Rio Grande Vipers on January 11th, Weber dropped 31 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals in 40 minutes — even turning the ball over just two times! Two! The Nets frequently push past 20 turnovers on most given nights so, hey, what’s there to lose?