If Chris McCullough’s New Year’s resolution was to participate in an NBA practice, well: mission accomplished.
On the first day of the new year, Nets rookie Chris McCullough ran through his first official NBA practice, cleared for limited 5-on-5 contact work. It’s the first time McCullough participated in team-sanctioned practice since he was drafted by the team in June, after tearing his ACL in January 2015 while a freshman at Syracuse University.
McCullough hasn’t been cleared for games, and it’s not clear if he’ll even play this season just yet. But it’s hard to imagine McCullough going through three months of practices without getting into an NBA game.
McCullough’s potential is intriguing. He declared for the draft despite the injury cutting his freshman season to just 16 games, telling Yahoo! Sports that the birth of his first child played a big factor in his decision to go pro. But that meant McCullough fell to the Nets at 29th, when he was projected as a top-20 pick had he stuck around another year.
While at Syracuse, McCullough averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.7 steals in 28.1 minutes per game. Among players drafted in 2015, he was the only NCAA player to average more than two blocks and two steals per 40 minutes.